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Children’s Environmental Health

Seminar Leader:
Marilyn Howarth


Children are particularly vulnerable to environmental contamination. A major source of exposure in Philadelphia is air pollution, which causes asthma and exacerbates allergies in children, making asthma rates much higher than statewide and US rates. Another is lead, which poisons more than 1000 children every year. This seminar provided teachers with actionable information that they could use to promote civic engagement among their students around environmental issues. It covered the principles of biology, cell physiology and pathology underlying environmental health for children. We considered the current state of the environment, the regulatory framework that protects our health, and preventative measures such as anti-idling programs, air monitoring in schools and lead testing of soils and water. The seminar linked participants to curriculum-building resources and experts whom they could bring into the classroom for demonstration and enrichment. Strategies for effective communication with City Council members, environmental regulators and legislators were be discussed. Though focused on STEM, this seminar was open to STEM and non-STEM teachers in any grade level.

Unit TitleAuthor


Equipping the Canary to be an Agent of Change: Educating Students to be Activists

Alima McKnight
Keywords: ADVOCATE, CHANGE AGENT, lead, lead poisoning

A Healthy Me is a Better Me

Marie P. Clarke
Keywords: airways, allergy, asthma, pollution, respiratory, triggers, wheezing asthma attack

Imagine a Day Without Clean Water: Middle School English Language Learners Advocate for Clean Water for All

Sondra Gonzalez
Keywords: clean water, English language learners, lead, water contaminants, water scarcity, water treatment plant

Exposure: Lead in Philadelphia

Chloe Glynn
Keywords: children’s health, environmental hazards, environmental justice, exposure model of disease, industrial disease, lead, Philadelphia history

Student Voice: Asthma in OUR World

Amelia Butler
Keywords: asthma, asthma attack, asthma triggers, breathing, chronic, environment, environmental, inhaler, irritants, Respiration, symptoms, triggers, wheezing

Hey, hey, ho, ho, Childhood Asthma needs to go!

Jillian Howden
Keywords: asthma, childhood, childhood development, Health, prevention

Methods to the madness – Activities for the teaching of research methods in AP Research using environmental science

John P. Danihel
Keywords: air quality, atmospheric science, publicly available environmental data sets, research methods

Compounded Environmental Injustice requires Compounded Solutions

Theresa Eck
Keywords: action learning, advocacy, asthma, civic action, civics, environmental justice, Environmental Racism, local government, pollution