Summer fun on Sunrise: make your own barometer and air pollution monitor

Sunrise Interviews

Justin Janssen with the CSUB Citizen Scientist Project teaches viewers and kids how to make their own barometers and air pollution monitors with easy-to-find supplies from their homes.

Homemade Barometer Materials: One mason jar; one balloon; one straw; a rubber band; tape; piece of thick construction paper or cardstock. Instructions: 1. Cut the opening off of the balloon and stretch the balloon over the opening of the mason jar until tight. 2. Use the rubber band to secure the balloon to the opening of the mason jar. 3. Cut the end of the straw at an angle to form a point. 4. Attach the non-cut end of the straw to the balloon using the tape. 5. Attach the paper to the back of the mason jar using tape to keep record of changing pressure. Place in an area that is not in direct sunlight. Using a marker, mark the initial position of the straw on the paper. If the pressure increases, the straw will rise, indicating higher pressure. If the pressure decreases, the straw will descend, indicating lower pressure.

Air Quality Cards Materials: four index cards; four pieces of string; petroleum jelly; small plastic bag. Instructions: 1. Create a small hole in each index card and tie the strings in each index card. 2. Spread petroleum jelly on each side of the four index cards. 3. Find three areas to hang the cards that will not be disturbed, (backyard, in the house, around the neighborhood) 4. Label each card with its location. 5. Place the fourth card in the bag as a control sample. 6. Let sit for three days. 7. Use a magnifying glass to observe what was picked up on each card.

For more fun projects, visit the Citizen Scientist Project website, here.

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