Air Quality Challenge, Contest for Grades 6-12 from Science ATL
  • Georgia Air Quality Challenge

The Georgia Air Quality Challenge is an experimental design challenge for students in grades 6-12. Students in this STEM challenge will partner with Air Emory to determine the placement of sensors in local communities in order to fill the gap in air quality data for Georgia.

“When it comes to pollution, be a solution.”

– Eri Saikawa, Ph.D., Emory University

The Challenge

The inaugural Georgia Air Quality Challenge is here to push your problem-solving skills out of the classroom and into the real world! Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to determine the best location in your community to monitor its air quality. Your tool? Air Emory’s Air Quality Monitoring Sensors. Participants will have access to three Air Quality Lessons to assist in completing the final challenge which is the submission of an Experimental Design Presentation. Winning entries will be invited to present their projects at the Air Quality Showcase during Georgia STEM Day on May 7.

The Georgia Air Quality Challenge was created by the Saikawa Lab at Emory University and Education Enhanced in partnership with Science ATL with grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency.

How to Participate

  1. Register.
    Registration is required in order to participate. Click the button below to register individually or select a team of up to 5 students. All teams/individuals must be in grades 6-12 and have an adult sponsor (parent/teacher); enter the adult’s contact information when you register.
  2. Learn.
    Complete the three lessons at the bottom of this webpage to prepare you to create your final product, an Experimental Design presentation. You should be able to complete this in three 30-minute sessions.

  3. Design.
    Design your experiment and create a presentation to communicate your design using the Template provided. Review the Rubric to understand how your product will be evaluated. All documents are linked below.

  4. Share.
    Submit your completed Experimental Design Presentation by March 27, 2021. Follow Instructions below.

The Atlanta Science Festival returns March 13-27. Check out the Educator Toolkit for everything teachers need to know about Atlanta Science Festival.

Lessons & Resources

Lesson 1:
Understanding Air Pollution

Learn how air pollution can be measured and identify common sources of air pollution throughout the world.  

Lesson 2:
Measuring Air Pollution

Understand how air pollution is measured by learning about the sensors that Air Emory is using to monitor air quality.

Lesson 3:
Air Quality Research

Meet the Air Emory team and learn about their current air quality research projects. Additionally, check out the to view live sensor data from the Air Emory website.

Presentation Template & Rubric

Create your final presentation using this Template. Be sure to review the Rubric in advance in order to understand how your presentation will be evaluated.

When you are done, prepare your file by changing the file name to YourLastName_YourFirstName_GAQC.pptx  Make sure you use the name that you entered during registration. Then, submit your file (one per team) by March 27, 2021 here. Please limit file sizes to 30MB. Submission link will be available starting February 13.

Judging Criteria

These criteria are also listed in the Rubric that will be used by Judges.

  • Proposal Summary (10). The summary demonstrates an understanding of the issue and experimental design.
  • Community Identification (20). It is clear why the community was chosen and there is a logical connection to air quality issues.
  • Research Question (25). The design identifies a community health problem that could be addressed using air quality data.
  • Hypothesis (10). The hypothesis provides a prediction of the data sensors will collect in the chosen location.
  • Sensor Location and Data (25). Locations for sensors are clearly identified and it is clear what data will be collected for research.
  • Challenge Outcomes (10). The outcomes detail how the data will be presented to the chosen community and how leaders within the community can apply the data.

Meet the Air Emory Team

Eri Saikawa Ph.D., Raymond Cheng, Anna Munslow, Eleanor Partington, Rebecca Luo, Calvin Bruno


Contact Air Emory at [email protected]

About Us

Air Emory: Air Emory is a community based, student led, air quality sensor network at Emory University.

Saikawa Lab: The Saikawa Lab at Emory University conducts interdisciplinary research on the environment, and specializes in working with communities to raise awareness about the environmental challenges directly affecting them.

Education Enhanced: Education Enhanced is an education consultancy specializing in custom STEM curriculum and program design targeting K-12 public school students and teachers.

Science ATL: Science ATL brings people together through the wonder of science!

This work is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency under grant #01D14720. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does the EPA endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned at this website

Founded by: Emory University Georgia Institute of Technology Metro Atlanta Chamber

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