Kelli Palmer and Maud Walsh, LSU SRP Research Translation Core, and Elisabeth Feld and Cholena Ren, LSU SRP trainees working with Center Director Barry Dellinger, attended the 2014 Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium in Shreveport, Louisiana on February 21st-22nd. The conference brought together Louisiana educators who are dedicated to environmental advocacy and education.
Feld and Ren led a chemistry and air pollution activity entitled “Understanding the Chemistry of Air” using LegosTM to demonstrate the connection between fuel combustion and environmental health issues. The activity, which was adapted from “LEGO Atoms and Molecules: Understanding Air” by Dr. Kathleen Vandiver at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, can be used to introduce K-12 students to molecules, atoms, chemical notation, and chemical compounds. Feld and Ren learned about the Lego activity through participating in a Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) program webinar on increasing students’ performance in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Feld and Ren also used the activity to discuss the importance of studying particulate matter, a byproduct of fuel combustion, and the LSU SRP’s research on environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs), which may form from the combination of pollutants and particulate matter. Feld and Ren also led the same activity at the 2013 Louisiana Science Teachers Association Institute in Baton Rouge on November 1, 2013.