Is our air getting cleaner? – A

Last updated: July 1, 2020

Math Skill: Subtraction (decimal numbers)

Science Area: Pollution

Environmental Area: Air quality

Grade level: 45th grade

Area level: Community-scale

Purpose: Understand trends of the amount of dust in our air over the last decade and develop awareness of air quality


Air pollution happens when air pollutants in the form of gases, dust, fumes, and odors are sent into the air in a way that makes it harmful to life on Earth. Air pollutants include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, sand/dust particulate, nitrogen oxide, and ground level ozone, and lead. Exposure to air pollution can cause respiratory problems and heart/lung disease.

Air quality in the Evansville area has improved over the last three decades due to a variety of clean air programs put in place nationally, regionally, and locally.


Indiana Department of Environmental Management, 2018. Current Monitoring Data Summaries



Sources of air pollution and 6 common air pollutants


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This activity uses a table that represents the amount of particulate matter 2.5(PM2.5:air pollutants with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, small enough to invade even the smallest airways) emitted in Evansville (data collected at the University of Evansville) over the last ten years. Through this activity, students will strengthen their skills of subtraction and rounding of decimal numbers and data analysis, while understanding trends of air pollution in our community. (Source:Indiana Department of Environmental Management)

worksheet & answer key

   Math Skill: Subtraction (decimal numbers)

Using the numbers in the tableabouttheamountofdust (PM2.5) in Evansville over the last decade, students are asked to compute how much the amount of dust change over the last decade.



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