Close this search box.

Pollution catcher



Talk to your group about what pollution is.

Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment. These harmful materials are called pollutants. Pollutants can be natural, such as volcanic ash. They can also be created by human activity, such as rubbish or runoff produced by factories. Pollutants damage the quality of air, water, and land.

Air Pollution

Vehicles such as cars, planes and lorries contribute to air pollution. They use fossil fuels, like gas, to power their engines. Factories which are used to produce many of the products we enjoy every day also give off toxic substances that pollute our air.  Some air pollution –  like the production of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide – is invisible,  but other air pollution you can see.

Explain to your group that they will be making pollution catchers which will catch visible pollution particles .


Resources needed

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Vaseline
  • String or cord
  • Tape

Step 1: Gather your resources

Step 2: With the Scissors, cut out a square or rectangular piece of cardboard. This should be roughly the size of your open hand.

Step 3: With the point of your scissors, or with a pencil, make a hole in the centre top of your piece of cardboard (be careful you don’t hurt yourself!). Then, cut a piece of string as long as the distance between your elbow and fingertips. Next, pass it through the hole and tie the two ends of the string together with a knot.

Step 4: Take your piece of white paper and cut out a square or rectangle which can fit on top of your piece of cardboard. Use the tape to stick it down safely. You can do this by sticking a piece of tape across each corner.

Step 5: Using your fingers or a butter knife, spread some Vaseline on the stuck down paper. Congratulations; you have made a pollution catcher! Now you can use the string to hang it up somewhere outside.

Step 6: You can now check on your pollution catcher every few days to see if it has collected anything. After a week or so, you should be able to see pollution particles stuck to the Vaseline! If you live an area with very clean air, you might have to be a bit patient. It might take a little longer than in more polluted areas.

Once everyone has made their catchers the group can take them home to hang them and see how much pollution they can catch near their homes. They could then bring the catcher back to the group night at the end of term or take a picture to share and compare their findings with others from the group as time goes on.

Resources Required

Paper Scissors Cardboard Vaseline String or cord Tape


Share this Activity:

Our website uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you agree to our cookie notice

Skip to content