1. Breath In, Breath Out: Does Breathing in Your Classroom Change the Quality of the Air?

    As we breathe, we exhale CO2. Can CO2 accumulate in closed environments like classrooms? Might air quality drop over the school day? Let’s find out.

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    Breath In, Breath Out: Does Breathing in Your Classroom Change the Quality of the Air?

    Along with all animals, we breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide (CO2). This means that every time we exhale, we change the atmosphere by adding a little CO2. CO2,which is a molecule comprised of one carbon atom bonded with two oxygen atoms, is not as poisonous as CO (a molecule with a carbon and an oxygen atom), but high levels of CO2 are not good.

    What about changing the atmosphere in a closed environment where a lot of people are breathing? What about your classroom, in which people are breathing all day? Might CO2 levels be high there? Do levels change over the course of a day?

    Let’s find out. You will measure CO2 levels in ppm, or parts per million. Learn what this means in the Protocol section.

    By the way, a GlobalLab class in Texas once measured CO2 levels in its classroom. What happened was so remarkable that UNESCO published the story. You can find it in its entirety here. Go to page 11.

    Check it out. You can make a difference.

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