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Environmental Institute of Houston > Environmental Education > Air-O Dynamic


    Curriculum Overview     

The air quality in Houston impacts many lives, especially the lives of children in the urban setting. The type of information students in public schools receive about air quality is limited because the seriousness of the problem was not recognized until Houston's air quality became national news. The Environmental Institute of Houston embraces the challenge to develop an air quality education initiative designed for Texas Educators addressing the air education needs in Texas.

This curriculum was developed based on the needs of the population that will be utilizing it. In the Houston-Galveston area, 22% of the state's students live in seven counties being served by 54 school districts with 28% of the teacher population. The students demographically are African-American (22%), Hispanic (35%), economically disadvantaged (45%), and limited English proficiency (15%). These students benefit from hands-on laboratory activities and interactive lessons that are informative about air quality and are presented in a nonbiased format.

The curriculum has been developed to target teachers of middle school science, integrated physics and chemistry, and environmental systems. The lessons meet the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE) guidelines for good environmental education. This includes the methodology of the lessons and the nonbiased approach of the activities.

The curriculum covers the topics that were considered important by area teachers as follows:

  • What is Ozone and how does it form?
  • How does one contribute to everyday air pollution?
  • Conservation practices that impact the air quality
  • Green spaces and air quality
  • Environmental health issues as they relate to air
  • Air quality and ecosystems
  • Indoor air quality

The lessons contain background information and laboratory activities that teachers can use throughout the year, or they can be taught as stand-alone units.

The demand for the curriculum has spring-boarded from the Houston-Galveston level to the national level and Mexico. Selected activities have been presented at several national environmental education conferences.

This curriculum provides accurate, balanced educator workshops that encourage teachers to incorporate air education into their classrooms. It teaches students how to think, not what to think. As with all good environmental action, it starts locally and is moving globally.

*Air-O-Dynamic was developed as a part of the Air Quality Education Initiative

Air-O-Dynamic Curriculum 
Related links
 Lessons and Correlation to TEKS and IPC Lessons and Correlation to TEKS and IPC
Air Quality Education Initiative
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