ABOUT: How to work this site
The New Haven Air Quality Is Your School Bus Exhausting? project, a curriculum created for the New Haven Public Schools in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CTDEP) and the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) at Stevens Institute of Technology, utilizes real time data to guide students, grades 6 - 8, to discover the science behind outdoor air pollution. The project contains exciting applications of the Internet by having students access real time atmospheric data, weather data and other sources. Students will focus on the science behind ground level ozone, look for relationships and trends among the data collected via real time sources, and will examine the health impact of air pollution.
The curriculum is designed to incrementally lead students, Grades 6 – 8, through Internet-based and hands-on learning experiments to discover not only the science behind air quality, but also the health implications related to poor air quality exposure. The curriculum is a spiral, inquiry-based curriculum, and as with all inquiry based curricula, the teacher must guide student discovery incrementally, ensuring student understanding at each step. Although the curriculum is Internet-based, it has been created with the intention that the classroom teacher will act as the facilitator, and must be well prepared, understanding all possible outcomes prior to using the materials with students.
Beginning in Grade 6, students will learn the basics about ground level ozone and particulate matter, and learn how those air pollutants are detected and measured. The lessons will build off their existing knowledge base of Earth systems, scientific reasoning skills and life science skills established earlier in the 6th Grade science curriculum.
Students in Grade 7 will continue to build upon their existing science and air pollutants knowledge base by determining what air quality conditions are necessary to cause ground level ozone to form. Students will also apply their knowledge of the human body to determine how particulate matter and ground level ozone can be detrimental to their health.
By Grade 8, all students should possess a working knowledge of ground level ozone and particulate matter and will be challenged to create a scientific investigation about ground level ozone or particulate matter. The caliber of the student investigation should be that of a science fair project, in which students will be able to show significant data collection, an analysis of the data and create a short presentation based on their project.
The theme established for each grade level integrates air pollution topics with the science curricula currently taught in the New Haven schools. The activities in each theme increase in complexity to match student ability levels ranging through grades 6 – 8. The types of student inquiry activities vary from Internet-based, to laboratory, culminating in student driven learning through the creation of a scientific investigation. Each grade level unit will take approximately 2 – 2.5 weeks to implement. The information below may assist you with the implementation of the project:
Materials Available on this Site
The Activites located in the left-hand navigation bar contain detailed, printable lessons. Accompanying the lessons are printable Student Wworksheets. The worksheets are in PDF format. If you need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the PDF documents, please click on the link below.
Real Time Data Projects
Technology can be a powerful catalyst to improve K-12 education by providing students with enriched opportunities to experience and understand scientific and mathematical concepts, increase problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, and participate in authentic, interdisciplinary projects. It has been demonstrated that technology: enables students and teachers to visualize complex concepts or phenomena; promotes interactivity; facilitates exploration of selected topics in greater depth; and provides opportunity for involvement in authentic tasks.
Reading Real Time Data
Using real-time images or data instead of information out of a textbook not only engages students, but also brings a real world connection right to the students.
When using any form of technology, especially the Internet and Real Time Data, it is essential to have a back-up plan in case your technology fails on the day you plan to use it in class. For information and suggestions for how students could continue to work on this project in the event of an Internet connection problem, please consult the Implementation Tips listed in the Teachers pop-up window located at the bottom of each lesson.
Another important issue when using Real Time Data is making sure that you are accessing the most current information. Any source of Real Time Data will have a clock or time stamp on the image or data. Frequently, the time stamp or clock is in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), also called Zulu Time (Z) or Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Students may have difficulty comprehending the time difference so it might be worthwhile for you or your students to convert the time to AM to PM.
Refresh / Reload
Browsing the Internet requires downloading multiple files from the internet to the computer. Users often wait long periods while complete web pages slowly show up on their computer screen. To speed up browsing time, the files that are downloaded are temporarily stored in the cache (referred to as Temporary Internet Files in Internet Explorer). Often in a Computer Lab setting, the computers are not shut down each day, and the temporary files remain on the computer.
So, if a student visits a real time data site one day, the information from the site is stored in the cache. If a student revisits the same web page a following day, the browser will first look in the cache for the information before it goes to the internet for the most recent image.
To prevent confusion, the students should first look for the time and date stamp on the image. If it is not the most recent image, click the “Reload” or “Refresh” button. This will insure that the latest data is displayed.
NOTE: Internet Explorer uses the term “Refresh” and Netscape Navigator uses the term “Reload”, both of which can be found next to the Back and Forward buttons in the toolbar.
Toggling Between Browser Windows
Toggling is the term used to describe switching between open browser windows.
You can have more than one web page open at a time using the same browser or using different browsers.
To open a new window in Netscape Navigator, simply click on File, and from the drop-down menu, select New, and then Navigator Window. A new window will open where you can type in a separate web address.
To open a new window in Internet Explorer, simply click File, then New, and Window.
If you are reading a web page and want to see one of the links in another browser window, simply right click on the link and select, Open link in new window.
To toggle between windows on a PC, simply look at the status bar, usually located at the bottom of your screen. You will see buttons with the titles of the web pages that are currently open. Simply click on the window you wish to view.
Mirror Site Information
A mirror site is a copy of this web site which is located on a different computer, acting as a back-up in case our computer server, network, or electrical power is down for any reason. The mirror site is updated once a day to reflect any changes made to the web site in the previous 24 hours.
You can access the project mirror site at the web site address below:
Write down the mirror site address in a place where you will have quick and easy access to it if need be. If possible, print out this page to keep for future reference.