PERSONAL CHOICES AT HOME TO PREVENT AIR POLLUTION ACTIVITY
Students explore how personal choices related to energy usage can reduce air pollution and save money. They calculate the emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides due to the use of electricity and natural gas by a homeowner, then evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies to reduce those emissions, including changing behavior and increasing efficiency through home renovations and/or new energy-efficient appliances.
What choices can I make that will prevent air pollution?
Are personal actions necessary and/or suf cient to help solve environmental problems related to air pollution?
TIME NEEDED: This activity will take about one block period (90 minutes) for AP and Honors earth science classes (assuming they do Part A as homework the night before). For academic earth science classes, doing Parts A-D in class will take about two block periods (180 minutes).
Video: Energy Choices (included)
Sample electric bill (included)
Sample natural gas bill (included)
Home energy use data (included)
TOPICS: combustion’s relationship to air pollution, air pollution regulations, air pollution reduction strategies, electricity generation, energy efficiency
TYPES: critical thinking, data analysis
EEn.2.5.5 Explain how human activities affect air quality.
CE.PFL.1 Analyze the concepts and factors that enable individuals to make informed financial decisions for effective resource planning.
If you are only doing this activity, and not the others in Module 2, you may want to show the 2-3 Forecasting Air Quality Video to your students after they do this activity.
INTRODUCTION TO SOLUTIONS & HOME ENERGY CHOICES VIDEO
This video Introduces the three major strategies for finding solutions to air pollution: personal choices, regulation, and technology. It briefly reviews how electricity is generated and the history of how our energy is produced in North Carolina. Then it focuses on how our personal home energy choices and the impact they can have on air pollution, focusing on improving energy efficiency and using less energy.
Video downloads are able to display subtitles. We recommend using VLC media player for optimal playback of subtitles.
HOME ENERGY CHOICES - TEACHER TO TEACHER TIPS
The quick video below has tips for doing this activity from Mark Townley, an award-winning, North Carolina high school teacher. Mark helped develop It’s Our Air and has used each of these activities with his students.
OTHER MODULE 3 (AIR POLLUTION PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS) ACTIVITIES AND VIDEOS
3-2 Introduction to Solutions & Home Energy Choices (this activity)