Take a look around you. All that empty space is filled with something vital to your existence.
Air! Clean air is as necessary for life as clean water, but students typically don’t think about the invisible ocean of air that surrounds them. Neither do they think about harmful substances that are added to our air every day. Daily activities like turning on lights or driving a car create air pollution, which can be harmful to our health.
Children are especially sensitive to the damaging effects of air pollution because their lungs are still developing. When children are active outdoors, they breathe faster and take in more air. If the air is polluted, they will take in more pollution as well.
The purpose of this unit is to educate students and their families about the importance of clean air, and to encourage them to take simple actions that will help improve local air quality so we can all live, work, and play in a healthy environment.
Created by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department, Up in the Air: An Air Pollution Education Program provides teachers with seven engaging, hands-on lessons designed to teach students in third through fifth grade about the importance of clean air. The unit is built around the big idea that our actions impact air quality in both positive and negative ways. Lessons are aligned to Arizona’s Science Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards for both Math and English/Language Arts.