Last updated: June 30, 2020
Math Skill: Interpreting bar graphs
Science Area: Pollution
Grade level: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th grades
Area level: Community-scale
Environmental Area: Air Quality
Purpose: Learn the number of unhealthy days 10 counties in Southwest Indiana for the last 5 years (2014 – 18) and develop awareness of air quality
BACKGROUND FOR THE TEACHER
Air pollution carries a significant risk to human health and the environment. Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution.
There are many sources that cause air pollution. Burning fossil fuels for electricity generation and transportation purposes is one of the major contributing factors to air pollution caused by human activity.
Air pollution is a significant contributor the development of respiratory infections, heart disease, asthma, pneumonia, and lung cancer. Epidemiological studies show that each year, more than 30,000 people are killed from cardiopulmonary disease linked to air pollution nationwide (WebMD, 2019).
(Source: UCLA Institute of Environment)
Children are considered to be more susceptible to the harmful effects of air pollution than adults since they spend more time outdoors and breathe 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults. Adverse health conditions include chronic cough and bronchitis, reduced lung function, wheezing and asthma attacks, and respiratory death.
Sources of air pollution and 6 common air pollutants
The map and the bar graph represent the number of unhealthy days for elder people and children in 10 counties in Southwest Indiana for the last 5 years (2014– 18). Students are asked to create and interpret a bar graph and compare numbers of unhealthy days among given counties in Indiana. The map and the bar graph are created based on data obtained from AirCompare.
PROBLEM & Answer Key
HOW MANY UNHEALTHY DAYS IN OUR AREA?
Math Skill: Creating bar graphs