Air Quality Observations
Go to the website AIRNow to view maps of air quality conditions and forecasts. Watch the animations for the entire United States, or choose a local map relevant to the students.
To prepare for this activity, review temperature data from one or more past summers to find a particularly hot day. Have students observe the change in the air quality index (AQI) over 24 hours and compare the maps of peak ozone and peak particles. Students should note the diurnal variations due to the presence of sunlight and increasing air temperature, which cause the photochemical reaction that produces ozone over the course of a day.
Also compare peak ozone maps for July and January. Ask students why ozone is less of a problem in the winter.
1) Pathogen Group Comparison
Break the class into small groups of 3–5 students, and have each group fill in the following grid.
Note: If students have been completing review grids throughout the semester, they should be able to fill in the categories in the top row and left column of this grid. If students are not used to the review grids, you can provide them the grid with these categories filled in and the rest blank. (See the completed Sample Grid for possible answers.)