Air Quality: More than Meets the Eye

In this module, students engage in a visual demonstration on the causes & effects of air pollutants on air quality and kinesthetic activities on particulate matter & visibility.

Context for Use

The four DISCOVER-AQ modules can be completed independently, sequentially, or extended into a larger unit of study.

Air Quality: More than Meets the Eye Module 1.1

Image by JuergenPM from Pixabay 

Goals Header
What Students Will Do

  • Describe to the main types of air pollution that affect air quality in Colorado’s Northern Front Range.
  • Illustrate a closed-system visualization of air pollution sources and their collective impacts on the atmosphere.
  • Recommend simple changes in personal actions to help reduce the causes and effects of air pollution.
  • Evaluate air quality webcam photos and aerosols data to correlate how particulate matter (PM) pollution and environmental conditions affect visibility.

Teaching Materials

DISCOVER-AQ: Module 1.1 Teacher Guide
DISCOVER-AQ: Module 1.1 Student Guide
Discover-AQ: Module 1.1 Slides


The “Know Your AQ” curriculum applies the 5E Instructional Model:

  • Engage (5 minutes)- Now You See It

Interest in air quality is generated and students’ current understanding of air pollution is assessed

  • Explore (30 minutes) - Air Pollution 101 #1

Explore the types and sources of air pollutants that affect the air quality of Colorado’s Northern Front Range region.

  • Explain (15 minutes) - Air Pollution 101 #2

Students construct their understanding of how individual contributions to air pollution affect overall air quality.

  • Elaborate (35 minutes) - Visibility & AQ

Students deepen and expand their understanding of air quality by applying their understanding to how air pollutants affect visibility.

  • Evaluate (15 minutes)- AQ 3-2-1 Exit Ticket

Informal assessment of students’ understanding of the main air quality issues in the Northern Front Range.

Illustration of two people high-fiving in a work environment

Get involved and stay up-to-date with CIRES CEEE.