A CIESE Realtime Data Project

Smog City - Air Pollution: What's the Solution?

Smog City

 --> Which man-made contributing factor has the most influence over ground level ozone production?

 Student Worksheet

In this activity, you will create an experiment and use the Smog City simulator to run the experiment.  You will need a computer with internet access and a copy of the Student Worksheet.

PART 1: SMOG CITY EXPERIMENT

  1. Access the Smog City web site.
  2. Select and click on Run Smog City from the left-side navigation bar.
  3. Once Smog City loads to your computer, take note of the following areas of Smog City, including Weather Condition, Population Level, and Emissions Levels. All areas have clickable choices. Mouse-over or click on the choices.
    • NOTE: in the status bar at the bottom of the your browser, there is information about each choice when the mouse is hovering over one of the settings.
  4. Click the Red Reset button.
  5. Look at all the choices again. Notice how each of the choices are pre-set to a certain level. These are called the default settings. In the chart below, circle or highlight the default setting for each choice. The first setting, Maximum Daily Temperature, has already been completed for you.

    Area Name:

    Choices Included in the Area:

    Select Weather Conditions

    Maximum Daily Temperature
    80ºF - 90ºF - 100ºF - 110ºF - 120ºF

    Inversion Layer
    Low inversion - High inversion - No inversion

    ...

  1. Click the Red Reset button to make sure that the defaults are set.
  2. Click on the Green Start button. Record what happens on the Student Worksheet.
    Settings Health Effects at Peak Ozone Level
    • Default
     
     
  3. Turn all of the Emissions Levels dials down to 1 (See HELP for more information). Leave all other choices at the default settings. Click the Green Start button. Record what happens on the Student Worksheet.
  4. Turn only the Cars and Trucks dial up to 2. Leave all other settings alone as illustrated in the chart below.
  5. Click the Green Start button and record what happens on the Student Worksheet. Continue to change the settings according to the Student Worksheet and record the results in the table.
    Cars &
    Trucks
    Off Road Industry Consumer
    Products
    Health Effects at Peak Ozone Level
    1 1 1 1  
    2 1 1 1  
    3 1 1 1  
    4 1 1 1  
    5 1 1 1  
     
  6. Click on the Red Reset button.
  7. Again, turn all of the Emissions Levels dials down to 1. Now, turn up the Off Road dial up to 2, leave all other settings alone, and click on the Green Start button. Record what happens on the Student Worksheet.
  8. Continue the same procedure with the other dials, Industry and Consumer Products. Answer the questions on the Student Worksheet.
  9. Now that you are familiar with the basics of Smog City, you are going to design your own experiment. The experiment will involve changing the Population Level and Emissions Levels, choices that humans have control over. The experiment must be written in the Scientific Method format on the Student Worksheet. The explanations below may help you with your experiment.
    • Hypothesis a question or idea that you might have about the relationship between Population Levels and Emissions Levels. For example; As Population Levels decrease, and Consumer Products increase, there will be an increase in unhealthy levels of ozone.
    • Experiment select the appropriate choices described in your hypothesis and run the experiment by clicking on the Green Start button. Make sure to list all of the steps you took while setting up the experiment.
    • Data collect the data from the experiment, including the Health Effects at Peak Ozone Levels resulting from your choices.
    • Conclusions reflect upon the choices you made and the resulting data and discuss (explain) if the data supports your hypothesis. If the data does not support your hypothesis, explain what you think may have occurred and how you would change your hypothesis.
  10. Would you change any part of your experiment? If so, restate your hypothesis and run the experiment under the new conditions. Write a few sentences to update your conclusions based on your revised experiment.

PART 2: CLASS / GROUP DISCUSSION
In a Class or Group Discussion based on all the data collected, answer the following questions on the Student Worksheet:

  1. Was there any one variable that seemed to have a greater increase in smog than others tested? Which one?
  2. What steps could be taken to control Emissions Levels?
  3. Can you think of ways to reduce ozone levels?
  4. How could a population increase occur without an increase of emissions?

 - - Based on all the data you have collected, answer the questions on the Student Worksheet - -


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