OnAir Schools is engages students in campaigns and challenges that not only increase awareness of air quality issues in communities but also promote a desire to create change. To do this we designed our campaigns and challenges to reflect the engineering design process required for good STEM projects.

The engineering design process has five main phases: ASK, IMAGINE, PLAN, CREATE, and IMPROVE. During the ASK phase, students define the problem, look at how others have tried to solve similar problems, and identify constraints. Then students IMAGINE possible solutions, brainstorm ideas and select the best one.  Once a possible solution has been chosen, students design a PLAN of action. Following the plan of action, students CREATE the solution. Lastly, students talk about what worked and what didn’t in order to IMPROVE upon the design.

Each OnAir campaign and challenge has four main components: Measure It, Change It, Prove It and Review It.

The Measure It component combines the ASK, IMAGINE and PLAN parts of the engineering design process. The Measure It component asks students to conduct an assessment of the current conditions to determine the air quality problems around a school or community.

Based on the baseline data collected, students then set goals and create a plan to make their air quality better. The Change It and Prove It components are similar to the CREATE phase of the engineering design process. The Change It component requires students to both implement a plan and document that implementation.

In the final Review It phase, students measure whether or not they were successful in the Prove It component and reflect on their findings.