Skip to main content

Pollution Catcher

Where do you see pollution? You might see it on land or in the water, but it’s also in the air! This pollution catcher will show you what kind of pollution is in our air.

Back to Activity Finder


  • Where does air pollution come from? 
  • What happens when the air is polluted? 
  • How can we tell if the air outside is safe to breathe? 
  • What supplies will you need for this adventure? 
  • Where will you hang your pollution catcher? 


  • Turn your paper plate upside down – use the hole punch or pencil to make two holes at the top of the plate and two holes at the bottom. 
  • Attach your paper clips or string through the holes – these will be used to hang your plate outside. 
  • Next, spread the petroleum jelly (Vaseline) over the front of the plate. It is sticky and will catch particles in the air. 
  • Bring your plate home and hang it outside. You could hang it on a tree, fence, balcony, etc. 
  • Check on your plate after two or three days – do you notice a build up of any particles? 
  • If the air is very clean, you may not see a build up of particles right away. Keep checking back! 


  • Did you see any particles on your pollution catcher? Where did they come from? 
  • How does dirty air affect us? What should we do when the air quality is low? 
  • How can we check how clean the air is? 
  • Remember to submit your activities on our Scouts for Sustainability Take Action Map to the Review section.


  • Paper plate 
  • Hole punch or pencil to make holes 
  • Vaseline/petroleum jelly 
  • Paper clips or string to hang your plate 

Keep it Simple

  • Start adding an air quality check to your program plans – before venturing out, check the weather and the air quality to make sure you are prepared for your adventure!  

Take it Further

  • Learn a more about how particles affect our air as you make a cloud in a jar!