Since January, nearly 100 Delta County high schoolers have been conducting hands-on air quality research, thanks to a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and three local high schools.
And now the students will present their projects at two symposiums that are free and open to the public:
These events, which will include free pizza dinners, are co-sponsored by the Western Slope Conservation Center.
Under the guidance of CU Boulder Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Michael Hannigan, graduate and undergraduate students have worked closely with teachers from Delta, Hotchkiss and Paonia high schools to help the students design projects that investigate local air quality issues.
The high school students designed their own research project, collected samples using low-cost, next-generation air quality monitors developed in Hannigan’s lab and then analyzed their own data. Projects include: investigating carbon dioxide levels in classrooms, which may cause sleepiness; differences in carbon dioxide emissions from a modified truck (a performance chip removed so there’s no limit on exhaust) versus an unmodified truck; and a project looking at how dogs sleeping in the bedroom with humans impacts carbon dioxide levels.