Education and Outreach

Due to their complexity, air quality issues are often difficult to convey.  In 2006, the Division of Air Quality formed an "outreach" team to explore more contemporary ways of communicating with the public.  The team includes personnel from all sections and job classifications of the agency.  Expenditures are paid for from the DAQ's Air Pollution Education and Environment Fund, funded by enforcement settlements. (Click here to see a history of our Outreach Team.)

To schedule speakers or find out more about the outreach displays below, contact Stephanie Hammonds, Information Management/Outreach Manager, at 304-92-0499, ext. 41263.  See the bottom of the page for links to other educational sources.

Designed by DAQ engineers, the "Smoke Simulator" demonstrates the difference between controlled and uncontrolled emissions of a coal-fired boiler.  A short presentation explains the Clean Air Act's evolution starting with the 1948 smog disaster in Donora, Pennsylvania, and ending with the simulator.  Dry ice is used to simulate "pollution" and small fans, with and without a filter, are used to draw the "pollution" through two large acrylic stacks. 
   The "Crank Generator" was designed to allow particpants to manually provide power for both an incandescent light bulb and a CFL or LED bulb.  By the end of the demonstration they can physically feel how much less energy CFL and LED bulbs use and equate that to reducing their own electric demands and costs.  This is a powerful - no pun intended - message, not only how to save money, but how to protect the environment by using less electricity.
 Staff converted a child's dollhouse into an "Energy Efficient Model House" complete with solar panel.  This display gives us the opportunity to discuss alternative energy and energy conservation in the home.  
   The "Solar Race Track" demonstrates an alternative energy source.  A solar panel charges a battery pack and allows a slot car race track to be used both in and out of doors.  This has proven to be one of our most popular outreach displays to date.
 Our "ESP Machine" demonstrates how an induced electrostatic charge controls smoke at a coal-fired power plant by removing fine particulate matter, such as dust and smoke, from the stacks.  
  In December, the DAQ turns the entire DEP Headquarters into an outreach display.  The "DEP Energy Tree" allows the public to provide the power, via hand crank, to light up a traditional 100-bulb incandescent tree versus an 800-plus light, 35-foot LED tree, draped to the side of the DEP building, bringing home our core outreach message -- "Save Money, Save Energy, Save the Environment." To see our Environment Matters video CLICK HERE.
Our "Nickel Smasher" imprints environmental messages into coins and provides a low-cost souvenir.   

Links to other educational resources for teachers and students: