It's Our Air - About


It’s Our Air is a free, North Carolina specific curriculum that includes a series of activities and videos focused on air quality for the state's high school level Earth and Environmental Science teachers and educators to use with their students. It’s Our Air is designed to help students develop a better understanding of the science and technology that helps us explain, monitor, predict and protect air quality. It’s Our Air engages students in learning the science of air quality using a variety of hands-on activities and dynamic video segments. The activities and videos provide a comprehensive curriculum that can be used as is or adapted by teachers to fit their course needs, with teachers picking and choosing from the various activities and videos. All activities are aligned with the N.C. Essential Standards for high school Earth and Environmental Science.

The curriculum consists of three modules: Air Pollutants and Their Sources, Predicting Air Pollution, and Problems and Solutions. These modules contain 15 structured, hands-on classroom and field activities in which students use data analysis, experimentation, creativity, research and mapping to understand air quality science and issues. 9 short videos are associated with specific concepts or activities with the goal of enhancing learning via animated illustration of scientific concepts, “virtual” field trips, and interviews with scientists. Videos feature an engaging host/teacher and a diverse group of NC high school students.





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Professional development for educators is an integral element of the overall plan for It’s Our Air. Live workshops and an online course for teachers and environmental educators are currently under development and will be released once the curriculum materials are completed. Check back here for up-to-date information about the availability of workshops and the online course.

The different demands on 21st century education dictate new roles for teachers in their classrooms and schools. The North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards include the skills and knowledge needed for the 21st century teaching and learning and are the basis for teacher preparation, teacher evaluation, and professional development. Using It’s Our Air in your classroom can help you meet these standards, especially:

  • Teachers make the content they teach engaging, relevant, and meaningful to students’ lives.
  • Teachers can no longer cover material; they, along with their students, uncover solutions. They teach existing core content that is revised to include skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and information and communications technology (ICT) literacy.
  • In their classrooms, teachers facilitate instruction encouraging all students to use 21st century skills so they discover how to learn, innovate, collaborate, and communicate their ideas.
  • The 21st century content (global awareness, civic literacy, financial literacy, and health awareness) is included in the core content areas.
  • Subjects and related projects are integrated among disciplines and involve relationships with the home and community.
  • Teachers are reflective about their practice and include assessments that are authentic and structured and demonstrate student understanding.
  • Teachers demonstrate the value of lifelong learning and encourage their students to learn and grow.

To learn more about the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards, visit the Public Schools of NC website at:

The North Carolina Air Awareness Program is a public outreach and education program of the North Carolina Division of Air Quality. The goal of the program is to reduce air pollution through voluntary actions by individuals and organizations. LEARN MORE

It’s Our Air  began as a project of the Environmental Education Fund. The EE Fund was a non-profit organization dedicated to providing knowledge, sparking understanding and nurturing skills with the goal of more informed environmental decision-making throughout North Carolina.

The EE Fund saw that air quality had become a major concern throughout North Carolina, the nation, and the rest of the world. They felt that it was imperative that the citizens of our state have an understanding of atmospheric science, the sources of air pollution, the problems caused by polluted air, and how their decisions and actions can affect air quality. One way to begin this education process was by giving every high school student in the state the scientific background needed to make informed decisions on the complex issues related to air quality. And so It’s Our Air  was born.

Building on the success of their It’s Our Water  curriculum, the EE Fund partnered with government, academic, industry, and other non-profit groups to create an advisory committee that developed the curriculum outline and oversaw the initial development of the activity guides and video scripts. With funds raised from government, foundation and industry sources, work was done to create the first module on Air Pollutants and Their Sources.

The EE Fund decided to shut their doors in 2013, with the project as yet to be completed. Fortunately, they found a good home for It’s Our Air  at the N.C. Division of Air Quality, where sufficient resources were found to complete the curriculum and offer it to teachers free of charge.