Czech Schools Part of GLOBE's Success
Six schools in the Czech Republic received awards recently for their collection of ozone data as part of a GLOBE project led by NASA's Langley Research Center. GLOBE is an international student observation campaign.
"These six schools have the longest, most complete ozone data set of all the schools that participate in the surface ozone protocol for GLOBE," said Margaret Pippin, a research scientist at Langley. Pippin and colleague Irene Ladd traveled to the Czech Republic to present the awards.
Langley Scientist Margaret Pippin (right) and Linda Bush, of Knox College, Work with Devices Used by GLOBE Students
Students measure ozone using a hand-held device that determines ozone levels by observing the color change of a chemically treated strip of paper.
They also measure cloud cover and type, wind direction, temperature and humidity at school monitoring stations. Students then submit their data via the GLOBE Web site for students and researchers to use in scientific studies, such as determining how weather conditions affect air quality.
Since 1998, Langley scientists have teamed with TEREZA, an independent organization dedicated to promoting environmental awareness, to work with Czech schools and produce one of the best international data sets collected by students.
"TEREZA was established by a group of wonderful and dedicated people that are involved in environmental education, and the surface ozone protocol was a natural extension of their work," said Langley scientist Jack Fishman, principal investigator for the GLOBE surface ozone protocol.
During their trip, Pippin and Ladd spoke to audiences of students, principals, city officials and interested citizens about Langley's ozone monitoring project. They also led classroom and training sessions for students and teachers involved in GLOBE.
"GLOBE encourages kids to participate in hands-on, scientifically valid studies, which fills in gaps around the world where we don't have observations," Pippin said. "Our visit was highly successful for the students in the sense that they see some use for their data, and it also got them thinking about how they could apply their own data to scientific studies."
The Langley scientists also addressed a forum in Prague in celebration of the "International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer," as proclaimed by the United Nations. The forum included children, scientists, TEREZA educators and representatives of the Czech Republic's Ministry of the Environment.
"TEREZA's and the country's emphasis on promoting science education stems from the environmental awareness that followed the fall of the communist regime of the former state of Czechoslovakia in 1989," Fishman said. Decades of industrial pollution caused by outdated technology had badly damaged the environment during communist rule. As a result, concerned citizens formed TEREZA after the birth of the Czech Republic in 1993.
GLOBE is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and Colorado State University, under sponsorship of NASA, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of State.
Earth & Sky: Good Ozone, Bad Ozone
Julia Cole, NASA Langley Research Center