CARLISLE — Air quality, reading graphs, weather patterns and helping others are part of the same equation for a group of math students at Lamberton Middle School.

Every school day since Thanksgiving, they have been visiting The Sentinel website at to obtain air quality readings from the monitor atop the newspaper building on East North Street.

Using the readings, the students raise brightly colored flags to show how clean or polluted the air is in the Carlisle area for each day school is in session, said Susan Greenbaum, an eighth-grade math teacher.

The flags are hoisted up the light pole near the entrance to the school parking lot and can be seen by motorists on South Hanover Street. A green flag means good air quality, while yellow is moderate.

An orange flag means the air pollution is unhealthy to sensitive groups like children and adults with asthma. A red flag signals a higher risk for everyone. The colors correspond to an Air Quality Index developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the flag program to help protect people’s health.


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