Secondary: Geography


Air is all around us, but it is probably something we don’t spend much time thinking about. Clean air is vital for our health, our communities and our environment, and here in Scotland our air quality has considerably improved over the last few decades. The air we breathe, however, is still under threat from pollution from a variety of sources, with the highest levels of air pollution in Scotland ¬†typically found within our towns and cities. When our air is polluted it can be bad for our health, causing us to feel unwell, and can make pre-existing heart and lung illnesses worse. Poor air quality also affects the environment and has a negative impact on our economic success and development. There are many different factors that can contribute to and cause air pollution and it is important that we can identify and describe the impact that they have.

The good news is that together we can all play a part in improving the air around us. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the Scottish Government, Local Authorities and many other organisations work together to tackle air pollution but there are many things that you, as an individual, or your family and community could do to help improve Scotland’s air quality.

Monitoring the air quality around your school alongside other fieldwork forms a key part of the package. Details on how to request the free loan of an air sensor from SEPA can be found below. Please note that the sensor should be setup a week before lesson 3 to provide enough data for the pupils to assess.

Request an Air Sensor for your School

This section of the website will guide you through the following topics:

  1. Air Pollution: Importance, Causes & Monitoring This topic introduces you to what air pollution is, it's history, what are the causes of air pollution, and how we monitor air pollution in Scotland
  2. Fieldwork: Air Pollution around our School This topic gives you an opportunity to undertake field work activities aimed at gathering information about the levels and causes of air pollution around your school.
  3. Results and Assessment: Air Pollution around Our School This topic¬†allows you to assess the results of the monitoring you’ve done around your school or look at examples from other schools. It will help you identify the causes of air pollution
  4. Impact of Air Pollution. This topic identifies the major impacts of air pollution on humans, plants and animals and the environment.
  5. Solutions: Tackling Air Pollution. This topic identifies the different ways in which air pollution can be tackled and reduced.

A Guide for Teachers and external links can be found in the Resources page (a link is at the bottom of every page). Also there are Activity Sheets & Homework Sheets for some of the topics covered in this section of the website. Links to these can be found in each section where needed.