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Abstracts of the 2019 Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, August 25-28 2019, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Citizen science and literacy scientific: public engagement strategies in urban air pollution

N, Vianna1; C, Lobao; M, Aguiar; A, Amantes; C, El-Hani

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Environmental Epidemiology: October 2019 - Volume 3 - Issue - p 413
doi: 10.1097/01.EE9.0000610632.31078.4f
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PDS 64: Health impact assessment and environmental justice, Johan Friso Foyer, Floor 1, August 26, 2019, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Background/Aim: Air pollution is a big problem that affects public health worldwide, especially in developing countries. The public engagement and risk perception about air pollution is a challenge to promote healthy behaviors and to implement decisions. The aim of the study was to investigate public engagement and scientific literacy of high school students trough of a citizen science project about air pollution. Method: This study used a quantitative and qualitative approach in 3 phases. In the first phase, students attended a workshop to learn relevant topics on air pollution and were trained to data collect of particulate matter. In the second phase, the students measured PM 2.5 in 7 sites around their school, using a portable monitor and answered pre-test to evaluate their previous knowledge. In the third phase, students attended written activities (tests) to measure indicators of scientific literacy, individual and group participation in the research project. Results: The levels of air pollution observed varied from 6µg/m3 (green spaces) until 124µg/m3 (traffic, streets). The results showed a correlation between scientific literacy and engagement of students in the citizen science project. The students who participated in the project obtained better performance, with 63.2% of the learning of content addressed during the lessons. Conclusions: The study demonstrated that citizen science contributes to design strategies for public engagement, promoting knowledge about air pollution in the local context. Citizen science can be an opportunity to investigate environmental issues and reflect on scientific evidence. We conclude that this approach is a valid pedagogical strategy to improve the learning of science.

Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of Environmental Epidemiology. All rights reserved.