Environmental Quality Investigation

Environmental Quality Investigation

Environmental Quality Investigation (Activities)   Free Add to cart

Outdoor air pollution can damage human health, but many do not know that indoor air pollution can also have harmful effects. Many schools harbor pollutants that can affect the health of students and those working in the school.

Project Learning Tree’s Environmental Quality Investigation is one of five hands-on, student-driven investigations at the heart of PLT's GreenSchools program where students investigate areas where improvements can be made in indoor air quality, transportation, chemical use, and more. The Investigation details specific things for students to measure and observe, along with student worksheets to fill out and guidance on how to combine data collected into a school-wide analysis.

PLT's GreenSchools program inspires students to improve the environment at their school, at home, and in their community. Student-led Green Teams apply STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) to create greener and healthier schools—and save schools money!

In the Environmental Quality Investigation, students assess several aspects of the environmental quality of your school by evaluating transportation choices and hazardous materials and cleaning products used in the school. Using the data collected from the Investigation, students can develop action projects to implement in their community to make improvements.

Examples of Students’ Action Plans: Students advocate for chemical-free garden care to reduce the use of herbicides and pesticides on school grounds. They work with school administrators to encourage the use of green cleaning products. They make sure ventilation is appropriate and grow indoor plants to reduce carbon dioxide levels. They establish ‘no idling’ zones.

Visit Project Learning Tree’s website to read stories of students’ action projects. Hear from students about their green school’s journey, and from teachers about lessons they learned along the way, as well as their tips for others interested in implementing similar projects.

Get all five GreenSchools Investigations here which includes:

  • Adult Leader Guide – Information on the benefits of becoming a green school, who to involve, how to form a Green Team, the steps to take to support students in conducting the Investigations, STEM connections and suggestions for additional activities to enhance each Investigation topic. 
  • Energy Investigation - Students investigate how much energy their school uses, the main sources of that energy, and ways to implement energy-saving strategies.
  • Environmental Quality Investigation - Students investigate areas where improvements can be made in indoor air quality, transportation, chemical use, and more.
  • School Site Investigation - Students investigate natural habitats, wildlife, trees, grounds maintenance practices, and ways to make improvements to their school site.
  • Waste & Recycling Investigation - Students investigate how much waste their school generates and where it goes, as well as recycling and composting efforts.
  • Water Investigation - Students investigate the source, cost, and quality of their school's water supply, and ways to enhance current water conservation practices.


“I was amazed how the students got into these Investigations. Each day they came to class eager to find out what they needed to do next. I am so glad that we participate in the Greenschools Program.”

– Katie Schlotterbeck, Science Teacher, St. Michael Lutheran School, Fort Myers, FL

“From the beginning, PLT’s GreenSchools program has helped our students grow in skills, leadership, and environmental awareness.”

– Christie Hazen, Enrichment Coordinator, Two Rivers Magnet Middle School, East Hartford, CT