Pollution Catcher

Make a pollution catcher which will help you see the dirt in the air with your own eyes!


With a few simple materials that you probably have at home, you can make a pollution catcher which will help you see the dirt in the air with your own eyes! You can even make a few and put them in different locations. This will mean you can see whether the air is cleaner in the park or by a big road.

This is a simple activity which should be easy and fun for people of all ages, but it’s always better to do things in teams. Why not ask a family member or friend to join you for the experiment?

What to do

Step 1: Gather your resources

Step 2: With the Scissors, cut out a square or rectangular piece of cardboard. This should be roughly the size of your open hand.

Step 3: With the point of your scissors, or with a pencil, make a hole in the centre top of your piece of cardboard (be careful you don’t hurt yourself!). Then, cut a piece of string as long as the distance between your elbow and fingertips. Next, pass it through the hole and tie the two ends of the string together with a knot.

Step 4: Take your piece of white paper and cut out a square or rectangle which can fit on top of your piece of cardboard. Use the tape to stick it down safely. You can do this by sticking a piece of tape across each corner.

Step 5: Using your fingers or a butter knife, spread some Vaseline on the stuck down paper. Congratulations; you have made a pollution catcher! Now you can use the string to hang it up somewhere outside.

Step 6: You can now check on your pollution catcher every few days to see if it has collected anything. After a week or so, you should be able to see pollution particles stuck to the Vaseline! If you live an area with very clean air, you might have to be a bit patient. It might take a little longer than in more polluted areas.

Take it further

If you want to try some more activities to get you thinking about the environment, why not try making a bug hotel, or upcycling some clothes for your teddy?

Common Ground

From 1st-8th August 2020, Woodcraft Folk and friends around the world will stand together on Common Ground — to live co-operatively in solidarity and friendship. While we can’t meet in person this summer, join us for a virtual international festival of ideas, education and games for social change.

This is a weekly challenge activity. Why not share a photo of what you achieve on social media using the hashtag #DreamBigAtHome?

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