Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education
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ONLINE COURSE: 7th Grade -> Will there be Ozone Tomorrow? (Week 3)

Part 1. Review the Background Information
This week will be continue right where you left off from the last session with the Tracking Ozone activity. To begin, please read and review the following background information to better understand the related concepts and activity. Once you've reviewed these sites, please refer to the Assignment below.

Ground level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs), also known as hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in the presence of sunlight. Nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons are known as the chief "precursors" of ozone. These compounds react in the presence of sunlight to produce ozone. These gaseous compounds mix like a thin soup in the atmosphere, and when they interact with sunlight, ozone is formed. Due to the nature of this reaction, ozone concentrations can reach unhealthful levels when the weather is hot and sunny with little or no wind. As a result, ground level ozone pollution, or smog, is mainly a daytime problem during summer months.

The photochemical reaction, described above, that produces ground level ozone requires several factors to be present and tends to occur when a stagnant air mass develops during hot and sunny conditions. The air will not become stagnant if weather systems continue to move through the area and displace the air with cleaner, "fresher" air.

One day alone is usually not enough to form excessive ozone. Usually it takes several days in a row, with the hot temperatures, the wind speed low, and the sky sunny for an ozone event to occur.  Therefore tracking weather conditions are an integral part of tracking ozone.

But is it possible to predict ground level ozone? In this lesson, students will access near real-time ozone data and weather data to predict if there will be ground level ozone in their area tomorrow.

Part 2: Review the "Teachers" Lesson Plan & Complete the Student Activity

  1. Access the Project web site select CT, New Haven, Grade 7, and then select the Will there be Ozone Tomorrow? activity in the left-hand navigation bar.
  2. Scroll down and select the "Teachers" icon Teachers icon. A pop-up teacher lesson plan will appear. Review each of the sections, access and/or print all of the required materials, and return to the student activity.
    • NOTE: It is recommended that you PRINT this Teacher lesson plan so you can refer back to it as you complete the activity and to take notes on it in preparation for when you will use this lesson with your students.
  3. Follow the directions and complete the Student activity. Enter your answers electronically in the Microsoft WORD version of Student Handout. When you complete the activity, refer to the Assignment below.



Assignment A - Will there be Ozone Tomorrow?: Complete the ozonetomorrowworksheet.doc worksheet individually by following the directions linked off the Will there be Ozone Tomorrow? activity from the Project web site. The deadline for this actvity is Thursday, 4/7/2005.

  1. Send the completed worksheet via e-mail to Course Instructors by Thursday, 4/7/2005.
  2. Visit the Discussion Board (see Instructions) and post your responses to the following three questions (note: these are the same last three questions on the Student Worksheet for the Will there be Ozone Tomorrow? activity).
    1. Review the weather forecast, the prediction of what the weather will be like tomorrow. Think about all the information you have learned about what type of weather is necessary to make high ozone levels occur. Apply your knowledge and predict whether or not there will be ozone in your area tomorrow. Write a sentence explaining your prediction.
    2. After two days, review your predictions. Were they correct? Why or why not? (You may need to access the AIRNow web site to check the ozone levels).
    3. In the future, how might you predict whether or not there will be ground level ozone present in your area?
  3. Once you've finished the activity, please kindly access and complete the following online lesson evaluation. This will help us improve the lesson:


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