Learn about air is a Scottish teaching package that aims to introduce air quality as an environmental issue, raising awareness through field work, experiments and classroom activities that demonstrate how our travel choices and lifestyles affect air quality.

Teachers and learners

An innovative teaching tool, the package is freely available online to all. It is specifically designed to deliver the ‘experiences and outcomes’ required for students under the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence teaching programme.

Designed with teachers and students in mind, the package provides a range of primary and secondary school lesson plans, including an option for inter-disciplinary activities for secondary school pupils using both geography and science subjects.

Research and data

The package encourages pupils to conduct air quality monitoring around their school using an air quality sensor loaned by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Pupils are encouraged to use the sensor to gather air quality data, which is automatically displayed on Scotland’s Environment website, around drop-off and pick-up areas. The aim is to encourage behavioural change towards walking and cycling to school.

SEPA partnered with East Renfrewshire Council and Pupils from four of their primary schools, as part of the schools cycle and walk to school week. The schools’ Eco Committees then challenged pupils to create banners that would persuade people to leave the car at home in all but the most essential of journeys.

During the week-long promotional event, pupils used the teaching package to learn about the importance of good air quality, while Council officers took the opportunity to speak to drivers who let their vehicles idle outside the school.