They decided to do a project related to cigarettes because of how much children are exposed to them by advertisings, second hand smoke and other kids encouraging it. There experiment was completed inside the classroom and outside in the playground. While we interacted on the playground while doing the project, they all related to someone in their family that smokes. They explored the health risks of cigarette smoke and confessed that they are always under pressure to smoke. So they decided to do an experiment to see what was in cigarettes that posed such a health risk. The goal of the mentor was not just have them say smoking is bad for you but to do and experiment that would show why.
They built a replica of a lung type model made of plastic, tubing, paper towels and of course a cigarette. At first they tried to use a glass bottle but it did not work. A key factor in their work at this point was that the mentor guided them to continue even though their first two attempts at creating a model did not work. Finally, they used a liter plastic soda bottle and made the model and tested it three times. They place a cigarette at the top and used air to suck the smoke into the bottom of the bottle where it went through wet paper towels and the tar residue was captured.
The most amazing image was during the science fair and they had to present to a judge. All of the students were knowledgeable about the experiment and straightforward about the problems they had developing the model. And, the final key factor was that they received encouragement to be proud of their work and they said, “ Next time we will do better”