Grade Level: 5 (4-6)
Choose From: 6 lessons and 12 activities
SummaryAir pollution and poor air quality affect human health and the environment. In this unit, students explore the properties of air, and learn about the Air Quality Index (AQI). Students investigate air pollution through activities on visible and invisible air pollutants, and gain an understanding of how engineers develop and use technology to reduce and clean-up air pollution in our atmosphere.
Engineers design solutions to prevent, reduce and clean up the air pollution that affects living things and the environment. Environmental engineers must understand the composition of air and the chemical makeup of air pollutants in order to determine how to mitigate air pollution and improve poor air quality.
Suggested activity order:
- The Search for Secret Agents
- What Color Is Your Air Today?
- Particulate Matter: For Your Eyes Only
- Cleaning Air with Balloons
- Washing Air: Wet Scrubber Pollutant Recovery Method
- Smoke and Mirrors
- Gumdrop Ozone Depletion Model: Battling for Oxygen
- What’s Hiding in the Air?
- Sensing Air Pollution
- Global Environment: Dangerous Air
- Metamorphosis - Stories of Change
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Students are introduced to the concepts of air pollution and technologies that engineers have developed to reduce air pollution. They develop an understanding of visible air pollutants with an incomplete combustion demonstration, a "smog in a jar" demonstration, construction of simple particulate ma...
Students learn the basics about the structure of the Earth’s atmosphere, the types of pollutants that are present in the atmosphere (primary, secondary, gas-phase compounds, particulate matter), and the importance of air quality research. They are also introduced to some engineering concepts such as...
Students develop awareness and understanding of the daily air quality using the Air Quality Index (AQI) listed in the newspaper. They explore what engineers can do to help reduce poor air quality.
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Last modified: November 17, 2020