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The acid rain monitoring 

RainConclusions 97-99



97-98 Conclusions

In this section we evaluate whether we have reached the aims of this project. This is the most important item, because we can see the results of our work verifying our initial previsions on acid rain at la Bisbal.

  1. To determine the pH degree of acid rain in la Bisbal and the outskirts. With the data collected we can conclude that there is no acid rain in la Bisbal. Most data are between pH 5.5 and pH 7. That shows that rain water pH is in the normal interval.

    Exceptionally, some samples have a lower pH.
    For instance, on
    January 28th we have a minimum pH of 4. Last days in January we have the minimum pH values observed. With the weather charts of those days, we can conclude that these values are due to south west wind coming from the industrial areas of Barcelona and Tarragona. Pollution is not a local problem, but it affects very distant areas, as we have verified.

  2. To become aware of ecological problems such as the acid rain. Data from England and Finland has helped us to get this objective. Exchanging information, we could realise why people from these countries are so worried about the problem of acid rain.

  3. To get experience on scientific methodology. We got this objective because we corrected the initial form of getting data. We got the data the first hour after raining with the same type of indicator paper, under the same conditions, etc. We are sure our data are only comparable among them.

  4. To be trained in co-operative work. Our team has used a comun methodology and we contrasted different opinions correcting the errors of our friends. We wrote the conclusions in group, but the work of collecting data has been individual.

  5. To collect accurate data and learn how to use a spread sheet to save and process the collected data. We all have worked following the agreed methodology and we all have learnt how to use a spread sheet.

  6. To acknowledge one's responsibility with this work, and to be confident about doing this work easily. We think we all have been very responsible with this work, because if only one of us has not, all the project would have been damaged.

  7. To learn how to use Internet for data exchange. We think this has been the most exciting part of the work. However it was not part of the experimental project, the use of the future technologies, such as e-mail, has been very interesting.

  8. To develop a critical mind when comparing data from different experiences. Here we have learnt that it is no possible to compare data collected with different methodology. For instance, it is no possible to compare our data with data from England or Finland while our data is comparable with data from Figueras.

  9. To learn how to read weather maps in order to know meteorological situations. Here, our knowledge on meteorology from the previous year, has been very useful. We only analysed the meteorological situation in days with pH under habitual.

  10. To get data about acid rain from other countries and be aware of the problems involving the acid rain. We think this was the main motivation to do this project. It has been possible thanks to Internet. The images received, with evident acid rain effects, have been the most explicit data.

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97-98 Pupils assessment

To be honest, at the beginning the project dit not really appeal to us. Maybe it was because we had not done anything like this before. But thanks to the encouragement and support of our tutor teacher we went ahead with the project and worked efficiently.

The term course on meteorology that we had done the previous academic year proved to be of great help to our research supplying us with a general background on the subject. Som lessons were devoted then to get deep into the matter. The project began to interest us and we willingly accepted the responsibility of carrying it out.

We had to be constant in collecting data. At first we were a little puzzled because we did not really know the aim of this task. But then, when we started receiving information from our international partners, we began to get more and more interested on it. At that time, we discuss in class that we would liked to have acid rain at la Bisbal, but when we studied the data from England we realised the terrible consequences of acid rain and we changed our minds.

Now, when we are about to finish this project, we realise that working in a team has been very useful and rewarding; we have learnt a lot, we have exchanged ideas and have establish good working relationships within the group. We are proud of our project and, even though we are aware that it will not change the course of world events or anything like that, it has certainly helped us to understanding the importance of finding new paths to the future.

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97-98 Tutor teacher assessment

I was in contact with teachers in IES Deulofeu of Figueres (Catalonia) and also with other teachers in England (Woodbridge School) and Finland (Saarnilakson Koulu) . Then we agreed on participating in the SMART project measuring the pH of rainfall water and exchanging data. We wanted to verify if we were affected by acid rain.

I involved in this project a group of pupils of 4th year Secondary School (14 years old). It was no possible to modify the ordinary Sciences program because the course had already began, so I incorporate some explanations and laboratory practices on acid rain among other normal activities. So, all pupils of this 4th year were informed of the kind of work that pupils in this project were carrying out.

I know that pupils in this project have been working very hard because they measured the pH of rainfall water that they collected in their houses whenever it rained.

The tutorial work was, a part from classes explanations on acid rain, to motivate these pupils so that they wouldn't forget to collect data and to introduce data in a computer program in order to create our data base. So they learnt how to make charts and tables, how to calculate averages, etc.

I gave each of them a copy of colour code of indicator paper we were using, and I furnish them with indicator paper strips.

We took samples from October till March. During March it only rained twice in a significant amount, so we only have data until February.

We studied and discus in class on all data and information like magazines, video tapes, etc, that we received from our partners abroad.

Finally, we introduced the data in a table, we wrote conclusions and we explained all we had done. The result of all this is the project we are showing you through Internet.

I hope this project will be only firs attempt and that we will continue it with other pupils, in coming years.

We think that the data we have collected, along with other data we might collect in the future, could be very useful for future research carried out by other pupils from higher academic levels.

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98-99 Conclusions

After doing this project, we can conclude that there is no acid rain in la Bisbal, even though we have some value below normal pH.

One of the reasons we don't have acid rain is that in this area wind blows mainly from the North where there are no industries. On the contrary, when wind blows from the South, we obtain lower pH values due to the pollution from Tarragona and Barcelona industries.

On December 3rd of 1998, and January 1st of 1999 we had very low pH values, with averages of 5.5 and 5.2 respectively. We tried to find some meteorological explanation, but we didn't find any.

The reason why we have no acid rain at la Bisbal is because we have no thermal centrals and no chemical industries near us.

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