Science
Strand V
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Earth and Space Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand V
Content Standard 3
All students will investigate and describe what makes up weather and how it changes from day to day, from season to season, and over long periods of time; explain what causes different kinds of weather; and analyze the relationships between human activities and the atmosphere. (Atmosphere and Weather)

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3
Middle School

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School
Benchmark 4
Describe health effects of polluted air.

Benchmark Clarification

Polluted air affects people’s health in many ways. Pollution can be man-made or naturally occurring.

Students will:

  • Research causes of natural pollution: pollen, carbon dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, etc., and the effects these pollutants have on human health
  • Research man-made pollution: car exhaust, power plant emissions, industrial emissions, etc., and the effects these pollutants have on human health
  • Recommend solutions that will minimize the harmful effects of air pollutants on humans

Note: Indoor air pollution needs to be considered, given the fact that we spend 90% of our time indoors and that many of the pollutants that we fear are higher inside the house than outside.

See web link listed in resources.

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Key Concept
Effects:

  • breathing difficulties
  • irritated eyes

Sources (man-made):

  • car exhaust
  • industrial emissions
  • acid rain

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Real World Context

  • locations and times when air quality is poor
  • local sources of potential air pollution
  • ozone warnings

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: What are the relationships between human activities and the atmosphere?

Focus Question: What human health risks are associated with air pollution?

Students in small groups will select an urban, agricultural, or industrial area. Using a variety of resources, including technology and media, students will collect and share data relating to health issues caused by air-borne pollutants from the chosen area.

Each small group will create a visual presentation displaying that pollutants are normally found in the chosen area, where the pollutants originate, and the health effects associated with them.

Each small group will generate a plan to eliminate or decrease these pollutants. The plan can be shared with parents and other members of the community to increase a general awareness of the human health risks from air pollution.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.MS.1), (SCI.I.1.MS.5).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1MS.1), (SCI.II.1.MS.2), (SCI.II.1.MS.3), (SCI.II.1.MS.4), (SCI.II.1.MS.5).

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Assessment Example

Students will create letters to the editor that alert the community to the airborne pollutants in the surrounding area and the health effects related to these pollutants. Each letter to the editor should include:

  • An understanding of the issues based on research
  • Visual connections that relate pollutants to health issues in the form of graphs or data tables
  • Alternatives/solutions to the stated problems

Students should send copies of their letters to a local newspaper.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Understanding of health effects

Provides a personal interpretation of at least one health issue as it relates to pollutants.

Provides a research-based interpretation of at least one health issue as it relates to pollutants.

Provides a research-based interpretation of at least two health issues as they relate to pollutants.

Provides a thorough and accurate research-based interpretation of several health issues as they relate to pollutants.

Connections between a pollutant and a health issue

Presents a visual connection between a pollutant and a health issue.

Presents a visual connection between more than one pollutant and the resulting health issues.

Presents clear, visual connections between some pollutants and health issues.

Presents clear, logical connections between many pollutants and health issues including data tables or graphs.

Solution to problems

Explains one possible solution that is not feasible.

Explains one solution that is feasible.

Explains thoughtful alternatives and/or some solutions to the problem.

Explores and generates questions and proposes alternatives or many solutions to the problem.

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.V.3.MS.4.html

Ozone Action! — clean air coalition of Southeast Michigan Teacher's

Resource Kits for grades K-12. Resources and activities link MEAP science proficiency standards and math/science objectives with the Ozone Action! Program.
http://www.semcog.org/ozoneaction/teachers.html

The Inside Story This page provides basic facts about pollutants found inside our buildings and homes.
http://www.epa.gov/students/inside_story.htm

Midwest Air Quality Information: air quality trends, maps, and reports for EPA Region 5 (Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Minnesota).
http://www.epa.gov/ARD-R5/naaqs/naaqs.htm

EPA'S National Air Quality Trends: “This is the twenty-fourth annual report on air pollution trends in the United States issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”
http://www.epa.gov/oar/aqtrnd96/general.html

Acid Rain. GEMS.
http://www.lhs.berkeley.edu/GEMS/