What's Air Got to Do with It?

Students are introduced to the concepts of air pollution and air quality. The three lesson parts (including its associated activities) focus on the prerequisites for understanding air pollution. First, students use M&M® candies to create pie graphs that express their understanding of the composition of air. Next, they watch and conduct several simple experiments to develop an understanding of the properties of air (it has mass, it takes up space, it can move, it exerts pressure, it can do work). Finally, students develop awareness and understanding of the daily air quality using the Air Quality Index (AQI) listed in the newspaper or online. In an associated literacy activity, students explore the environmental history timeline.