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ONLINE COURSE: 8th Grade -> Introductions and What are the sources of Air Pollutants?

Part 1. Introduction
This week we will be introducing Outdoor Air Pollution and reviewing the first 8th Grade activity, What are the sources of Air Pollutants?. To begin, please read and review each of the following Indoor and Outdoor air pollution resources. While this project focuses on Outdoor air pollution, it will be useful for you to review both so as to better understand the related concepts. Once you've reviewed these sites, please refer to the Assignment below.


Assignment A - Outdoor Air Pollution: Introduce yourself AND respond to at least one posting using the Discussion Board (see Instructions) by Thursday, 3/24/2005. Be sure to include the following:

  • your name, the name of your school, and any other information that you would like to share.
  • one new fact about outdoor air pollution you learned from the above resources;
  • how outdoor air pollution differs from indoor air pollution; and
  • at least two questions you have about outdoor air pollution you'd like to have answered by the end of this project.



Part 2. What are the sources of Air Pollutants? Activity
Review the following Background information and then follow the instructions below to access the lesson linked off the project web site and complete the activity. NOTE: You will be asked to review and send a completed student handout (linked in the upper-right hand corner of each lesson) to the course instructors after EVERY online session.

The first activity you will introduce to your students for this project is What are the sources of Air Pollutants? activity. In this activity, students will list the six major air pollutants as well as the sources of the major air pollutants, locate the local air monitoring station, and obtain real time air quality measurements.

2.1. Review the Background Information
The U.S. Congress has passed several pieces of legislation to protect the nation's population from the damaging effects of air pollution. The Clean Air Act of 1963 provided federal authority to address air pollution problems on a nationwide basis. The Clean Air Act was amended in 1970, 1977, and 1990. Each amendment modified the Act and provided additional avenues for addressing air pollution problems. As a result of the Clean Air Act and its Amendments, EPA established air quality standards to protect public health and welfare, gained the ability to designate unhealthy areas that needed to be addressed, and dealt with issues such as acid rain and ozone depletion. All 50 states use the Clean Air Act as the basis for the individual state regulations, some more stringent than others. Individual states have the primary responsibility to ensure compliance to both state and federal regulations.

Review the information in the EPA's Six Common Air Pollutants web site AND the Major Air Pollutants (.pdf) table. This information will provide you with necessary information about the most common air pollutants and can serve as an excellent reference for both you and your students throughout all of the lessons in this project.

While reviewing these sites, consider the following questions (NOTE: you will be asked to refer back to them in the subsequent assignment).

  • What are the most common sources of the major air pollutants?
  • How does air pollution affect people and the environment? 
  • Can air pollutants still harm you if you cannot see or smell them?
  • How do you think you might be able to protect yourself from harmful air pollutants?
  • Which pollutants are directly released into the air?
  • Which pollutants are not usually directly released into the air?


2.2 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 What are the sources of Air Pollutants? 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 B - What are the sources of Air Pollutants? Activity
  1. Complete the What are the sources of Air Pollutants? Student Worksheet (sourcesworksheet.doc) individually for Connecticut. You will submit this completed document along with the following group activity to the course Instructors via e-mail by the date below.
  2. Do other states have the same main source-type pollutant? Prove it!
    Note: You will need to coordinate with your break-out group members either by e-mail or phone to complete this assignment.
    • Test at least 6 additional states representing different geographic regions using the the Pollutant Investigation worksheet (PollutantInvestigation.doc). It is recommended that you divide the states among your group members and then synthesize your results to answer the following questions.
    • Collaborate with your group members to determine the following:
      • the highest emission percentages of all the pollutants from all the categories for each state (one per state);
      • the specific source type or types your group feels contributes the most pollutant for each state (see Appendix A in the Student Worksheet for a list of specific source types).
        • For example, in Nebraska 97% of the pollutant PM 10 comes from the miscellaneous source type category because there is a lot of farming, and farming by planting, fertilizing, tilling and harvesting emits a lot particulates.
      • how much control each state has over limiting the amount of pollution coming from this source, and why.
    • Each group member should submit their completed What are the sources of Air Pollutants? Student Worksheet (sourcesworksheet.doc) individually and each group should send ONE COPY of their synthesized answers in a one page document to the Course Instructors via e-mail by Thursday, 3/24/2005.
      • Each group should submit the ONE set of answers to the course instructors with all the break-out group members' names and the information above.
      • Be sure to include New Haven, CT Grade 8 Week One Activity in the subject of your e-mail message.



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