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Air Quality Education


Student Workbook

Grade Level: 5-12

DEQ has partnered with The Oklahoman to create educational resources for the "Newspapers in Education" program. These materials include a student workbook, a case study, and six air quality lesson plans--complete with teacher implementation tips, student activities, downloadable worksheets, and accompanying answer keys.

The purpose of the student workbook and the lesson plans is to provide information about ground-level ozone; more specifically, how ozone forms, how and why air pollution is monitored, how monitoring data is disseminated to the public, and what everyday choices can be made to reduce ozone emissions.

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1: What is Ozone?

Grade Level: 5-12

Most people associate ozone with the ozone layer in the atmosphere, which protects the planet from the harmful rays of the sun; however, ozone can and does form at the ground level as an air pollutant. In the warmer months in Oklahoma, ground-level ozone is our most prevalent air pollution issue .

This lesson plan provides a description of the ozone layer and the important role it plays, in addition to information about ozone when it is a harmful air pollutant. Learn how ground-level ozone is detected and the crucial role state air quality agencies play in this process.

Lesson Plan 2: How Does Ground-Level Ozone Form?

Grade Level: 6-12

The formation of ground-level ozone is the result of chemical reactions that take place in the sunlight. These chemicals come from natural and man-made sources, some of which are common products used on a daily basis.

This lesson plan details the formation process of ground-level ozone and describes the chemicals involved, including their origin. Learn what time of day ozone is most likely to form and how concentrations can fluctuate over the course of a day.

Lesson Plan 3: Why is Ground-Level Ozone Monitored?

Grade Level: 5-12

Poor air quality can affect everyone's health. It can have direct effects on the lungs. So, have you ever wondered what exactly you are breathing? Those with asthma and other respiratory conditions might have given this more thought than others, but it is something we should all think about, especially during ozone season.

This lesson plan gives an overview of the health risks associated with repeated and/or long-term exposure to ground-level ozone concentrations. Because ground-level ozone can pose health risks, it is necessary for it to be monitored by state air quality agencies that can alert the public if concentrations are high.

Lesson Plan 4: How is Air Pollution Monitored?

Grade Level: 6-12

Oklahoma's Air Quality Division operates a monitoring network that routinely measures concentrations of various air pollutants. The monitoring of air pollutants involves sophisticated equipment and considerable amounts of computing power. There are different types of monitoring equipment and methods of data collection specific to each pollutant.

This lesson plan describes how air pollutants are monitored by the Oklahoma Air Quality Division's monitoring network. The types of pollutants sampled by the monitoring equipment are presented, in addition to how the data from the monitoring sites are analyzed and the purposes for which they are used.

  • Lesson 4.pdf (*Student activity for lesson 4 is combined with the student activity for lesson 5)

Lesson Plan 5: How Are Air Quality Data Communicated to the Public?

Grade Level: 7-12

One of the most critical responsibilities of the Air Quality Division is to monitor Oklahoma's air quality and to notify the public when air pollution poses adverse health effects. Some groups of people are more sensitive to air pollution than others. These sensitive groups include young children with developing lungs; elderly adults with weakened immune systems; people who work or are active outdoors; and individuals who suffer from cardiac, pulmonary, or bronchial conditions.

This lesson plan discusses where to access and how to utilize three air quality tools available to the public on the DEQ website. These air quality tools were developed to help the public stay informed of current and forecasted air quality conditions.

Lesson Plan 6: What Steps Can be Taken to Improve Air Quality?

Grade Level: 6-12

What can you do to help improve the air quality in your area? What are businesses, government agencies, energy and gas companies, and other organizations doing to improve the air quality in Oklahoma's communities? Reducing air pollution should be everyone's concern since we all breathe the same air. So, the Air Quality Division has compiled a list of easy ways to reduce air pollution that can be utilized in the home, at work, and even while traveling.

The first portion of this lesson plan is dedicated to a review of the main highlights from lesson 1-5. The latter half explores simple ways the average person can reduce air pollution, in addition to changes being made by businesses, organizations, etc. Learn about the different types of alternative fuel vehicles and how they are making a greater appearance in the public sector.


Supplemental Education Materials

The following materials are also available to supplement classroom activities:

Additional information on educational materials is available on the DEQ Environmental Education page.

Page last updated: August 18, 2015

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