Unit Air Pollution & Air Quality

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Grade Level: 5 (4-6)

Choose From: 6 lessons and 12 activities

Power plant smoke stack
Power plant smoke stack
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Copyright © Nick Humphries via Flickr

Summary

Air 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.

Engineering Connection

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.

Unit Schedule

Suggested activity order:

More Curriculum Like This

Upper Elementary Lesson
What's Air Got to Do with It? Properties & Quality

Students are introduced to the concepts of air pollution, air quality, and climate change. The three lesson parts (including the associated activities) focus on the prerequisites for understanding air pollution. First, students use M&M® candies to create pie graphs that express their understanding o...

Upper Elementary Lesson
Got Dirty Air?

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...

High School Lesson
An Introduction to Air Quality Research

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...

Upper Elementary Activity
What Color is Your Air Today?

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: September 25, 2021

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