Maricopa County, Ariz.
Educating young children about the environment and how the choices they make impact air quality is critical to achieving and maintaining lasting improvements. When we educate students about the importance of clean air, we empower them to help solve the air pollution problem in Maricopa County and become the next generation of environmental stewards. Up in the Air: an Air Pollution Education Program is designed around the idea that our actions impact air quality in both positive and negative ways. Aligned to Arizona College and Career Ready Standards (ACCRS) for Science, English/Language Arts, and Mathematics, “Up in the Air” engages students in hands-on science lessons designed to promote collaboration and critical thinking skills. Kindergarten through fifth-grade students explore air pollution issues and learn simple actions they can take to help improve local air quality. Through this Program, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) provides teachers with lesson plans, digital lessons for interactive whiteboards, Power Points and essential questions to focus student learning. Resource kits containing all materials needed to teach the lessons are available for check out from MCAQD at no cost to schools. MCAQD staff provide training for teachers and deliver materials right to the classroom. MCAQD conducted a pilot program in the spring of 2016. Seventeen teachers participated in the pilot, representing eight schools in five public school districts. All students showed measurable growth in their knowledge of air quality and air pollution as evidenced by pre and post assessments given at the beginning and end of the unit.
Ms. Jacqueline Robinson