Berkeley CEE Partners with Stockton Students to Build 120 Air Purifiers

Featured Faculty: Fotini Katopodes Chow

In honor of Earth Day, students from Professor Tina Chow's CE 105 class recently partnered with Edison High School in Southwest Stockton to build and distribute air purifiers in their community. On April 16, students from the two campuses teamed up to construct 120 air purifiers from basic household items, serving to protect vulnerable community members from the effects of harmful air pollutants.

The Edison High School students could choose to take home an air purifier, or provide it to someone in need. The rest of the air purifiers were distributed to attendees of Stockton's Earth Day Festival in Victory Park on April 24. 

In 2019, Southwest Stockton was awarded funding from Assembly Bill 617, a law to lessen the inequality of air pollution in cities across California. Research shows the area is among the most disadvantaged communities in California, and has the highest particulate matter pollution within the north portion of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Southwest Stockton's air quality is negatively impacted by several factors, including truck traffic and crosstown freeways, warehouses, the Port of Stockton, and pollution from the Bay Area.

Berkeley CEE provided supplies for the April 16 event, including box fans, cardboard, rubber bands and MERV 13 filters. The coordinators hope the success of their visit will inspire future events funded by Assembly Bill 617.


Group of students in assembly hall learning about air pollution and how to build homemade air purifiers.
Students from Professor Tina Chow's CE 105 class explain the benefits of air filtration. (Credit: Tina Chow)


Group of students in assembly hall building air purifiers from box fans and filters.
In two hours, students constructed 120 air purifiers from basic household items. (Credit: Tina Chow)


Two students working together at an Earth Day event to demonstrate how to built a homemade air purifier.
Berkeley PhD student Abrar Abidi and a student from Edison High School demonstrate how to build a homemade air purifier at Stockton's Earth Day Festival. (Credit: Tina Chow)


Professor Tina Chow being interviewed by ABC10 News.
Professor Tina Chow speaks to abc10 News about her class and its efforts to reduce air pollution in South Stockton. (Credit: KXTV-TV). Click the above image to view a video capturing her group's work at Stockton's Earth Day Festival on April 24.