About – Air Pollution: What’s the Solution?

ABOUT: How to work this site

Air Pollution: Whats the Solution? utilizes real time data to guide students, grades 6 – 12, 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 air quality issues, look for relationships and trends among the data collected via real time sources, and will examine the health impact of air pollution.

The lessons have been designed to allow a teacher flexibility of lesson selection and best fit into the existing curriculum. It is not necessary to complete all of the lessons, however, it is recommended that all of the Core Activities are completed prior to students undertaking the Investigation. The Core Activities will build the scaffolding necessary for students to move through the Investigation and other Enrichment lessons. Please review each of the lessons carefully and use your judgment for allocating class time for the project. The information below may assist you with the implementation of the project:

Materials Available on this Site
The Core Lessons area contains detailed, printable lesson plans. Accompanying the lessons plans are printable worksheets. 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. Also in the Teacher Area is a list of curriculum standards that are satisfied by the project, as well as other related project information. The Reference Material section has many links related to ground level ozone, weather and other helpful resources; it also contains online experts that may be contacted for answering air pollution related questions as well as contact information for the CIESE project leader.

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.