Air Quality Index

50 minutes
Primary subjects: 
Science
Grade: 
5, 6
0

About

In this lesson, students learn that in some parts of the world, people hear air quality alerts and warnings regularly. The problem is getting worse as the human population increases, making air quality a significant global issue. Students examine how an index of air quality is one way governments monitor and communicate with the public about air pollution and its potential health effects. Then students conduct a quick walk-through eco-audit of their classroom to see if there are changes they can make to improve the air quality within their immediate environment. Students reflect upon how their actions (even in a community with consistently good air quality) can have an impact on the entire atmosphere, and then they brainstorm things they can do personally and as a class to help alleviate air pollution. The ideas on the Extend tab offer multiple strategies students can use to implement their ideas and take them into the community to spread awareness and encourage further change.

Key objectives for students
Define Air Quality Index (AQI), and describe how and why to use it.
Identify and interpret the AQI for their community.
Suggest strategies they can use personally or as a class to reduce air pollution.
Secondary subjects
Civics and Government, Environmental Education, Mathematics, Reading or Language Arts
Topics
Air pollution, Air quality, Air Quality Index (AQI), particulates, pollutants, Eco-audit, public health, Climate
Skills
Collaboration, Communication skills, Creative problem solving, Critical Thinking, Digital citizenship, Systems thinking
Values
Curiosity, Empathy, Global Leadership, Mindfulness, Optimism, Resilience
Methods
Brain-Based Learning, Multi-Disciplinary, Multiple Intelligences, Real-World Application, Technology Integration
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