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Pembroke Academy Partners with Ford Motor Company to Ensure Clean Air

Safety is a word that has taken on new meaning and new responsibilities. Today, we are all a part of safety globally, and students at Pembroke Academy recently completed a project in an effort to keep their school safe and healthy.

Ford Motor Company launched an initiative to support safety from the perspective of clean air, donating filtration system kits to school districts for clean air in classrooms. Stephanie Glenn, principal at Pembroke Academy, heard about this initiative and immediately completed the requirements to secure filtration kits for every classroom at Pembroke. As a result of her efforts, fifth-grade students who attend school in person, who are also a part of a leadership cohort, put their hands to work for the sake of safety and clean air in every classroom. ​​​​​​​
The leadership cohort, led by Mrs. Ratonia Bain, achievement, and behavior support specialist at Pembroke, assembled 28 systems in under 30 minutes. The students assembled the filtration systems using an assembly line approach and teamwork. Once the kits were assembled, the leadership team performed a quality control check of each unit to ensure accurate assembly. Every student was invested in the completion of each kit and did so with safety as the driver. Students were proud of their accomplishment!  
"This was a great lesson for our students as they physically assembled the filters because it infused science concepts of wind, and air to make real-life and relevant connections," said Glenn. "Moreover, it taught them the lesson of 'quality-control' and the assembly-line approach for efficiency and effectiveness. It was also a great experience for our students as they practiced the virtue of perseverance as they had to make adjustments and ensure quality performance of the filter system."

Ford explained that the filtration kit is comprised of an easy-to-assemble die-cut cardboard base, a 20-inch box fan, and a 20x20x4 air filter with a standard minimum efficiency reporting value of 13. The air filter is placed inside the folded base with the fan placed on top. The fan operates on high for maximum filtration, discharging clean air downward as it pulls in unfiltered air from above.
Not only did the leadership cohort do something that keeps their school community safe, but they also learned more about working together as a team to complete a task for someone else, compassion in action!
For Glenn, it's important to take a full and rounded approach to safety to ensure that staff and students feel safe both physically and mentally. "We want all of our stakeholders to know that we are continuously seeking out ways to improve the safety of our physical environment," said Glenn. "A safe and healthy environment is crucial for a quality learning environment as it provides both our families, staff, and students comfort in knowing that our school safety team is always making the best decisions possible for their health and safety first."
Ford and the University of Minnesota conducted aerosol modeling studies in a classroom-sized space that show increasing air filtration in closed spaces helps reduce particulate concentration, which includes aerosols and droplets. “Our modeling results clearly show that improvements in air filtration of poorly ventilated spaces through the proper use of a portable air cleaner can help reduce the chance of breathing in contaminated aerosols,” said Dr. Jiarong Hong, mechanical engineering professor in the University of Minnesota’s college of science and engineering.