The students are involved in an observational study of air pollutants in the atmosphere. The students will collect air quality and weather data. By examining their data they will look for correlation's between weather and air quality. Increased natural and human-made air pollutants in the atmosphere result in unhealthy conditions for humans, wildlife and plants. They will discover that certain atmospheric conditions, including high pressure, clear skies and little or no wind, create the conditions for poor air quality.
The students will discover weather patterns which contribute to an increase in air pollution and its accompanying health hazards, using resources on the World Wide Web, and their local newspaper. The teacher should be familiar with some weather fundamentals, atmospheric constituents and pollutants, and related health issues, in order to better assist and assess the students' progress. The optimal time to use the module would be during a cold week in January or February, when these weather patterns may be observed. You may wish to introduce parts or all of these concepts before students work the module; or discuss them afterward, as a review and summary of their findings.
The students will discover in class room activities the particulate pollution that is in the air around them and the weather conditions which tend to cause an accumulation of smog or ozone pollution. They will explore health issues related to the quality of our air. The students may also collect air quality data on the World Wide Web from other states and look for similarities and differences to their own situations. They will graph and analyze the air quality and weather data they have collected from their towns or cities.
Here are the other support components of the Teachers' Guide:
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