Apply the scientific method to the air quality in YOUR neighborhood.
1. Define and use AQI. Identify two main types of pollutants.
2. Monitor the air quality in YOUR hometown or a place of interest to them. Monitor this location over a 3 day period.
3. Record data, analyze the air quality in YOUR hometown (or selected location) and draw conclusions for people in that local population.
4. Research the air quality index to determine types of activities that are appropriate for the local population in the time period observed.
a. Student creates a 3D pyramid about the air quality index.
b. Student defines two main types of pollutants.
c. Using a classroom computer or other tech device, students use an interactive website to collect data about the AQI on a location of interest. This might be their hometown, their favorite sport team's hometown, or a city like LosAngeles CA, Memphis, TN, or Portland, ME. Once the town is selected, the same location is monitored for air quality for three days. (Location is a constant. The air quality and dates are the variables).
d. Students finish their work for day 1 and submit the bottom part of sheet as their "ticket out the door."
Day 2 - Computer Lab Activity
a. Students record air quality for their chosen location.
b. Once the AQI readings are recorded, get group attention. Brain storm and record examples of questions to be researched at Airnow.gov such as:
What is poor air quality?
What makes air quality hazardous?
What types of symptoms do people have when air quality is unhealthy? Does it effect all people? How?
c. Students then research data about air quality, based on their locations and AQI, and its positive/negative effects on people of that community. They begin to formulate recommendations and types of activities (stay indoors, bike riding, camping....) gleaned by cross referencing their AQI with their research.
d. Students record information to help them with their write up on Day 3.
Day 3 Computer Lab Activity
a. Students record air quality information on the same location for last day.
b. Students analyze the three days of air quality and draw conclusions. In their write up they emphasize the category based on AQI, recommendations for people located in the area they monitored, and other thoughts they have.
c. This report should be a half page, word processed and submitted by end of day 3.
Possible extension to AQI topic:
1. Revisit and record AQI over another 3 day period for same locations at different times of year.
2. Discuss findings from different areas (city vs. rural), different times of the day, and hypothesize about seasonal fluctuations in AQI. What causes differences? What is the healthiest place to live (according to class findings).