Children learn in the earliest science experience that problem-solving is an essential part of the learning process. Problems probe one’s depth of understanding. Students should be stimulated to delve into areas that are not explicitly covered by this unit. While concentrating on the physical reasoning of air pollution, students should be able to develop skills in reading, language, mathematics, science, and social studies. This unit will be helpful to the self-contained classroom teacher as well as the departmentalized subject teacher. It is geared toward the middle school student from grades five through eight. The time span would vary according to the depth desired by individual teachers. A recommended period of four to eight weeks would allow student from below average range to be successful. Students will be able to:
1. CLASSIFY AIR POLLUTANTS
2. EXPLORE THE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF POLLUTION
3. DETERMINE THE EFFECTS OF SMOKESTACKS
4. DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF GOVERNMENT CONTROL ON POLLUTION
5. UNDERSTAND THE MAIN IDEA OF A PARAGRAPH
6. READ FOR HIGH COMPREHENSION AND SUPPORTING IDEAS
7. INTERPRET INFORMATION FROM GRAPHS AND CHARTS
8. USE PICTURES TO SUPPORT MAIN IDEAS OF A SUBJECT
9. USE THE NEWSPAPER TO STUDY POLLUTION PROBLEMS IN THEIR OWN ENVIRONMENT
Pollution has become a major problem. It is not a future risk. Pollution is killing and destroying the health of people right now. It is impossible to escape. We have become so accustomed to low levels of exposure that it is hardly noticed.
Eliminating pollution from the environment has not proved as easy as eliminating it from the pages of a book. Industry is now spending several billion dollars a year on pollution control.
The first problem in understanding air pollution is to decide what is and what is not an air pollutant. Many of the things generally considered pollutants are present in the natural air. The amount of a substance locally present in the air is clearly important in defining a pollutant. Also the amount of harm or inconvenience caused by the substance and how long it remains in the atmosphere. These three factors are known as the three T’s (tonnage, toxicity, and time in the atmosphere).
A great deal of power is needed to run the factories of modern industrial nations. Automobiles, trains, planes, and buses need power too. Nearly all of this power is produced in the same way—by burning fuels. The burning produces wastes. Some of the wastes get into the air, causing air pollution. The eventual fate of air pollution is to be wasted out of air.
A smokestack with a billowing black plume, for years the proud symbol of America’s industrial wealth and technological prowess, has in the last decade acquired another meaning. The puffing smokestack has come to signify the achilles heel, rather than its strength.