This unit uses
a "model versus reality" framework to explore
the relationships between weather parameters and ground-level
ozone pollution. Once students become familiar with some
introductory background information, they use a web-based
interactive model to simulate the effects of different weather
variables and levels of pollutant emissions on ground-level
ozone concentrations. Then, they acquire archived ozone
and weather data and explore how these relationships are
expressed in reality.
activities, students gain a greater understanding of the
physical mechanisms contributing to ozone pollution. They
also gain insights into being a scientist by working with
models and attempting to relate their model results to reality.
Finally, the activities build a base of knowledge with which
students can discuss the societal consequences of ground-level
ozone and explore ways to mitigate this pollution problem.
The unit was
piloted with Mark Johnson's New Visions Environmental Science
class based out of the Tompkins/Seneca/Tioga BOCES, and
with Bill MacNeill and Dave Wiley's Environmental Science
class at Whitney Point High School, Whitney Point, NY. Both
of these piloting sessions contributed immensely to the
final product that appears here.