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Emily Harer

Practice science and engineering skills by exploring air quality and environmental inequity by designing a city-wide data collection experiment

2023 STEM Scholar
St. Paul, MN Global Arts Plus - Upper Campus

Emily’s Big Idea: 

Students will explore air quality and environmental inequity in the Twin Cities.  They will practice their science and engineering skills by designing a city-wide experiment, collecting air quality data, analyzing the data to then create an action plan to communicate their findings and make recommendations for how to recognize body symptoms from hazardous air quality, what to do to keep safe, and how to reduce air pollution.

Students will use their science and engineering skills to understand air pollution as an environmental justice issue and determine how it impacts families more negatively. We will read and analyze text describing a current issue facing the Phillips community in Minneapolis, a location targeted as a future  Superfund site. Students will engage in a Socratic Seminar around the topic of clean air laws and regulations. They will collect and analyze local air quality data from St. Paul and they will create an action plan for sharing their findings with the community. Lastly, they will organize a bike-to-school week.

Objectives include:

  • Analyzing text;
  • Discussing issues;
  • Collecting and analyzing data;
  • Creating and executing an action plan to encourage improved outcomes.

Interesting Fact: 

Emily wants to empower students to make and advocate for changes that will protect the Earth, as well as improve the lives of people in their own community.

In her own words: “My passion is Earth Science. I don’t have a favorite topic but really anything I’m teaching, I’m excited about. I am also our AVID [Advancement Via Individual Determination] coordinator and teach AVID in 6th grade. I love getting kids organized and ready for middle school.”