Государственное бюджетное общеобразовательное учреждение
города Москвы "Лицей № 1535"
Planting at school as an important way to sustain air quality
(Озеленение в школе как важный способ поддержания качества воздуха)
Выполнила учащаяся 10 З класса
Скорик Мария Вячеславовна
Оськина Екатерина Викторовна –
учитель английского языка
Chapter 1. Theoretical input2A habitat and its types2
Air as an important ecological factors3
Air conditions at school 4
Chapter 2. Practical Experiment 7
Hypothesis and objectives 7
Experiment procedure 7
Since the first day of human-beings appearance on our planet, we have existed in close connection with the world around us; initially it was the nature and natural environment. Further with the development of the civilization people started to create their own environment, their own habitats.
A habitat is a space that directly cooperates with the organisms that live within. The term habitat was originally coined to mean the place where an animal or plant lives (i.e. a single species). In contrast to animals, people do not live in one at the same habitat all their lives, even during one single day we spend time at least in two different places: home - work place, home - school, etc.
School is a form of man-made “habitat” for young people who spend there at average 5-7 hours a day. As in any other habitat, at school we may find various ecological factors that influence the well-being of pupils. One of such factors is, of course, the air conditions.
There is no need to dwell on the importance of air for health and life in general as no one would ever doubt its significance. Thus, the quality of air is a crucial aspect. There are different ways how to sustain the appropriate air conditions that are applied to schools, for example regular ventilating.
Still, one more means to improve the air composition is planting. There is no school where there would lack greenery. We know that plants do clean the air, but the question is: are there any plants that can do even more benefits than just eliminate the amount of carbohydrate and produce oxygen?
In our research, we have tried to experiment with the plants that are believed to contain phytoncides, i.e. antimicrobial allelochemic volatile organic compounds, in order to single out the best plants for schools.
Chapter 1. Theoretical input
In the first chapter I will make an attempt to introduce the theoretical basis for our practical research. To implement and assess correctly the results of the experiment which is to be conducted in course of the current project work it is essential to observe the following points: -what the types of animal habitats are; -what ecological factors are found in a habitat; -what the basic components of a habitat are; -why school can be referred to as a habitat; -what two basic methods of maintaining the appropriate conditions of the air supply at school are. A habitat and its types
It is accepted to distinguish three types of animal habitats.
1. Aquatic environment.
Water is a habitat of a lot of organisms. They get all necessary substances such as: food, gases and water from it.
2. Ground-air environment.
Ground-air environment has been developed through the evolution processes. The characteristics and composition of air are the most important ecological factor in the ground-air environment.
Ground is the upper layer of the land that is formed from mineral particles. It is very important and complex biosphere's component that is closely connected to its other parts. Some organisms live in the ground all their life, some do so only for a certain part of their life.
There can be singled out two types of habitats: natural and artificial (or man-made).
School can also be considered to be a habitat. Sometimes we think to think that the environmental pollution awaits us only in the streets, and this is the reason why we do not pay due attention to the ecology of our houses and other buildings and facilities we spend time in. Nonetheless, our habitation is not just a shelter from adverse conditions, it is also one of the main factors that influence the person and determine his health. Factors such as outdoor air, substances that are evolved from furniture, books, clothes, electromagnetic soiling, indoor plants, etc. should be taken into account, by all means. This way we may infer that the school is also a habitat. Students can spent at their school for about 6 hours and even more. That is why it is a matter of great importance to pay attention to what habitat they spend time in, what air they breathe, what kind of food they consume there.
Air as an important ecological factorsSeparate properties and details of environment that influence on organisms are called ecological factors. There are three big groups: 1) Abiotic environment is a complex of inorganic environmental conditions that influence the organism such as: light, temperature, wind, air, pressure, humidity, etc. (for example, accumulation of toxic and chemical elements in the ground, drying of ponds during the drought, increase of daylight hours duration, intensive UV radiation). 2) Biotic environment is a complex of effects of one organism to another. Animal and plant influence other members of biogeocenosis. For instance, ground destruction by boars and moles, decrease of squirrels population in lean years. 3) Anthropogenic factors include the forms of human society actions that changes the nature as a habitat of living organisms.
One of the key components is air. Importance of air in our life is very huge as it is the prime cause of life on Earth. Without it life would not be possible as seen on other planets in our Solar system.
Air has many functions, but for us the most important is that air is an essential supply of energy to all living beings: All living beings including plants & animals are dependent on Oxygen in the air for generation of life energy. Body cells take up oxygen from blood and generate energy from food in the form of ATP. This biochemical generation of ATP is a basic requirement to sustain life on earth.
Air is naturally clean and suitable for human and animal survival. Still, due to industrialization there is rise in air pollution, which is not safe for breathe.
So to avail clean air and keep up dust free breathing air condition devices are used widely.
Air conditions at school
As it has already been stated above, air is one of the key components of almost every habitat, school being among them. How can we maintain the appropriate conditions of the air supply at school?
There are two basic methods: regular ventilation and planting.
We all know that being in badly ventilated indoors is hard: headaches, tiredness and weakness appear, you want to sleep. The explanation of all these symptoms seems so simple: the level of oxygen is too low. Still, this is only partially true. Even without ventilation systems there is the sufficient amount of oxygen in the room to feel good.
The culprit of feeling unwell in the unventilated room is a whole complex of negative factors, and, first of all carbon dioxide. Experiments show that if the lodgment (where people are) is not ventilated, the carbon dioxide level will be more than 20 times exceeded! Carbonic acid, educed with breathed out air, is a powerful regulator of breathing and blood circulation functions. All this causes feeling of eyelids being too heavy, headaches, discomfort condition, breakdowns. Apart from carbon dioxide, we breathe in other harmful admixtures (e.g. carbon monoxide). If there are always a lot of people indoors, and there is no room ventilation for a long time, the content of CO will increase and it will have a toxic effect on organism.
When penetrating into the blood, CO molecules inculcate into erythrocytes, replacing oxygen from its compounds with hemoglobin and forming carboxyhemoglobin. Because of this reaction, transportation of oxygen to tissues breaks. It contributes to oxygen insufficiency - hypoxia. The process of biological oxidation is unbalanced and it can cause permanent repercussions for organism. Without room ventilation, concentration of harmful admixtures in the air increases. For example, methane, ammonia, aldehydes, ketones which come there from lungs during the breathing. Altogether, from breathing out air and from skin about 400 harmful substances are secreted into the environment. For example, aldehydes can be the reason of pathological changes of inner organs, most of all lungs. They influence the CNS utter negatively. Exactly because of this, headache and tiredness appear. Breathing ammonia causes negative repercussions as well. Another harmful air compounds strengthen ammonia effect on organism. And consequences of that knock-out dose turn out to be enough expressed: for example, acceleration of breathing, increase of arterial pressure and irritation of mucous membranes of respiratory passages, tiredness, sleepiness, working efficiency decrease, headache.
The lack of negatively charged ions (anions) in the air in not ventilated places also has a bad effect on organism. It is proved that anions (there are a lot of them in fresh air) influence he nervous system very well. As a result, vital tone increases, pep and mental and physical forces appear, mood gets better.
To sum up, we need to think about ventilation more seriously.
Planting is a complex of actions, connected with creating and using floral plantation to turn around ecological condition of the environment and territory beautification. Planting is aimed at air cleaning from different harmful substances and bacteria, which are in it.
It is known that air environment in city lodgments is far from perfect. Besides the dust, there are unsafe chemical compounds in the air. They are isolated from tools, furniture, carpets. Moreover, there are different microorganisms indoors, which can cause ARI and allergic diseases. Even the most modern technical facilities of air cleaning do not provide healthy air environment. In our school in most of classrooms we do not have such an opportunity to use air-conditioning systems, but instead of them we may grow plants.
Indoor plants are not only beautiful and smell good, they protect from noise, control air humidity, decrease electrostatic field, clean air and ground from poisonous substances and show a positive cause on our body and soul.
Nowadays it is popular to plant lodgments and different territories, but we need to note that creating "green corners" is difficult and long process, including different actions about plants growing and care of them. For qualitative and productive management of these actions, special conditions such as light, warm and feeding are needed.
Recently one more property of plants has started to be taken into account while choosing them for arrangement of green spaces, it is the presence of phytoncides.
Phytoncides are substances of floral ancestry that have a property of killing microorganisms. Volatile phytoncides are ethereal oils distinguished by plants, which protect it from fungi, bacteria and Protozoa. Phytoncides were discovered by B.P. Tokin in 1928. It has been proved that phytoncidal activity is inherent to all the floral world.
Allocations of volatile substances by indoor plants depends on a lot of factors: systematic plant implements, age, physiological condition, ecological and biological properties, growing conditions.
Nowadays phytoncidal properties of many species of indoor plants such as geranium, tsiperus, begonia, thuja, aloe, asparagus and others are studied by scientists. Begonia and geranium reduce maintenance of microorganisms in ambient air to 43 %, tsiperus to 59%, asparagus to 38%
Chapter 2. Practical Experiment
In the second chapter we describe the experiments conducted in course of the research mentioning the following points:
- the hypothesis and objectives of the experiment;
- the material used for the research;
- the experimental procedure;
- the results and conclusion.
Hypothesis and objectives
In our research, we hypothesize that though all plants possess phytoncidal qualities, some plants express these qualities more intensively, thus being better to use at schools.
As for the objectives we have posed the following aims:
to compare phytoncidial properties of several most popular plants and flowers placed in schools and homes;
to analyse the obtained data;
to make conclusions about the most effective plants.
For the experiment we needed the following materials:
vessels and equipment (a ceramic mortar, a pipette, glass, gauze, etc.);
samples of forest soil;
a set of plants (aloe, briofillum, violet);
a notebook for the records.
The procedure of the experiment contained the following steps.
1. We pounded the leaves of the plants under analysis, firstly aloe, whose influence of phytoncides we need to check, in a ceramic mortar.
2. We squeezed with some drops of the plant juice the help of the gauze.
3. In a small glass (50-100 ml) we put a wad of soil from the forest, added some water, mixed, let the solid soil parts sag. With a pipette we put a drop of water from the glass on a microscope slide and cover it with a coverslip. We could observe different species of ground Protozoa and their active movement in the drop of water.
4. Then we added a drop of the prepared juice made from aloe leaves under the coverslip.
5. The observation of the Protozoa movements followed.
6. The same stages of the experiment repeated with the rest of the plants.
The results of the observations are as follows:
First of all, juice of every observed plant managed to stop the movement of the microorganisms on the slides, i.e. practically killed them.
The speed of the action of juice’s phytoncides was different:
aloe – 5 minutes 40 seconds,
briofillum – 6 minutes 30 seconds,
violet – more than 15 minutes.
Based on the obtained results we have made an important conclusion that those plants with stronger phytoncidal properties have beneficial influence on the health of human beings.
The effects of phytoncides are multifaceted, they have important significance in the improvements of hygienic condition of the environment that surrounds a human. Indoors air is full of microorganisms. For the recovery of air environment, indoor plants should be applied, especially those which have phytoncidal activity.
In this connection, we would like to mention that though our experiment has been rather simple we have managed to prove the positive effect of plants. There have been more complicated scientific researches some of them have revealed that dermatophagoides farinae (main culprit for indoor environment contamination) avoid phytoncides by 97.2%. Phytoncides thus contribute to the prevention and alleviation of the environmentally-caused skin diseases and asthma.
By the way, if we use more of the plants that produce the studied chemical substances we can benefit from other aspects of phytoncides:
- Phytoncides can eliminate odors from food, smoking, and bathrooms by 97.1%.
- The refreshing scent of the phytoncides stimulates the central nervous system to relieve tension and stabilize the body and mind in the workplace. Efficiency can be expected to grow by the benefits of the phytoncides that reduce stress by 50%.
- The scent of the phytoncides and their excellent antimicrobial effects interact to strengthen human body’s natural healing capacity (i.e, immunity), and to help cells in the lymphocytes to work as efficiently as possible in the body.
- While performing intellectual tasks such as learning, phytoncides help brain functions to be more stable and efficient so that memory and power of attention are improved. It also helps stabilize the autonomic nervous system, which means the stress from studying can be reduced and learning capacity improved.
Therefore, we may suggest creation of specialized phytomodules (i.e. specialized sets of plants) for schools taking into consideration the analyzed property of indoor plants.
A habitat (article) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HabitatAir Quality at School, Department of Health http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/indoor_air/air_school.aspxEffect of phytoncide from trees on human natural killer cell function HYPERLINK "http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20074458" \o "International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology." Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2009 Oct-Dec;22(4):951-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20074458Forest Therapy Association of the Americas http://forest-therapy.net/healthbenefits.htmlIntroduction to the phytoncides http://www.gngpia.com/board/upload/ICE_20111213141240.pdfParent’s Guide to School Indoor Air Quality http://www.healthyschools.org/downloads/IAQ_Guide.pdf
Wall of flowers http://wallofflowers.com
Ван дер Неер. Все о ста самых популярных комнатных растений. – Спб.: ОО «СЗКЭО», 2007.
Князева Т.П., Князева Д.В. Комнатные растения от А до Я. – М.: ОЛМА Медиа Групп, 2010.
Филиппова И.А. Комнатные растения – лекари от природы. – Спб.: ИД «ВЕСЬ», 2002.
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Государственное Бюджетное Образовательное Учреждение города Москвы лицей № 1535Planting at school as an important way to sustain air quality By student of 10 Z Skorik Maria Supervisor Oskina E. V. – English teacherMoscow, 20151 Types of habitats2 School as a form of man-made “habitat”3
Air as an important ecological factors4 There are two basic methods to maintain the appropriate conditions of the air supply at school : regular ventilation and planting.Air conditions at schoolVentilationPlanting5 Ventilation6 Planting7Phytoncides are substances of floral genesis that have a property of killing microorganisms.B.P. Tokin ExperimentHypothesis:Though all plants possess phytoncidal qualities, some plants express these qualities more intensively, thus being better to use at schools. Objectives:to compare phytoncidial properties of several most popular plants and flowers placed in schools and homes;to analyse the obtained data;to make conclusions about the most effective plants.8 Materials9 Procedure10 11Procedure Results12BeforeAfter ConclusionsPlants with stronger phytoncidal properties have beneficial influence on the health of human beings;Phytoncides have important significance in the improvements of hygienic condition of the environment;Phytoncides can contribute to the prevention and alleviation of the environmentally-caused skin diseases and asthma;For the recovery of air environment, indoor plants should be applied, especially those which have phytoncidal activity. 13 Phyto-modulesPhyto-module is a set of certain plants that are able to support healthy microclimate indoors.14Composition 1Composition 2Composition 3Composition 4ChlorophytumOcimumMenthaMelissaGeraniumPileaPelargoniumKalanchoёHypoestes.OcimumSpathiphyllumOcimumMenthaSpathiphyllumRectanthera fragnansPelargoniumMelissaMentha ReferencesInt J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2009 Oct-Dec;22(4):951-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20074458Forest Therapy Association of the Americas http://forest-therapy.net/healthbenefits.htmlIntroduction to the phytoncides http://www.gngpia.com/board/upload/ICE_20111213141240.pdfParent’s Guide to School Indoor Air Quality http://www.healthyschools.org/downloads/IAQ_Guide.pdfWall of flowers http://wallofflowers.comВан дер Неер. Все о ста самых популярных комнатных растений. – Спб.: ОО «СЗКЭО», 2007.Князева Т.П., Князева Д.В. Комнатные растения от А до Я. – М.: ОЛМА Медиа Групп, 2010.Филиппова И.А. Комнатные растения – лекари от природы. – Спб.: ИД «ВЕСЬ», 2002.15 Thanks for your attention!16