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  • Ben Graves
Air Quality InQuiry (AQ-IQ)
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Educational Use
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Students engage in hands-on, true-to-life research experiences on air quality topics chosen for personal interest through a unit composed of one lesson and five associated activities. Using a project-based learning approach suitable for secondary science classrooms and low-cost air quality monitors, students gain the background and skills needed to conduct their own air quality research projects. The curriculum provides: 1) an introduction to air quality science, 2) data collection practice, 3) data analysis practice, 4) help planning and conducting a research project and 5) guidance in interpreting data and presenting research in professional poster format. The comprehensive curriculum requires no pre-requisite knowledge of air quality science or engineering. This curriculum takes advantage of low-cost, next-generation, open-source air quality monitors called Pods. These monitors were developed in a mechanical engineering lab at the University of Colorado Boulder and are used for academic research as well as education and outreach. The monitors are made available for use with this curriculum through AQ-IQ Kits that may be rented from the university by teachers. Alternatively, nearly the entire unit, including the student-directed projects, could also be completed without an air quality monitor. For example, students can design research projects that utilize existing air quality data instead of collecting their own, which is highly feasible since much data is publically available. In addition, other low-cost monitors could be used instead of the Pods. Also, the curriculum is intentionally flexible, so that the lesson and its activities can be used individually. See the Other section for details about the Pods and ideas for alternative equipment, usage without air quality monitors, and adjustments to individually teach the lesson and activities.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ashley Collier
Ben Graves
Daniel Knight
Drew Meyers
Eric Ambos
Eric Lee
Erik Hotaling
Evan Coffey
Hanadi Adel Salamah
Joanna Gordon
Katya Hafich
Michael Hannigan
Nicholas VanderKolk
Olivia Cecil
Victoria Danner
Date Added:
02/07/2017
Combustion and Air Quality: Emissions Monitoring
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Educational Use
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As a class, students use a low-cost air quality monitor (a rentable “Pod”) to measure the emissions from different vehicles. By applying the knowledge about combustion chemistry that they gain during the pre-activity reading (or lecture presentation, alternatively), students predict how the emissions from various vehicles will differ in terms of pollutants (CO2, VOCs and NO2), and explain why. After data collection, students examine the time series plots as a class—a chance to interpret the results and compare them to their predictions. Short online videos and a current event article help to highlight the real-world necessity of understanding and improving vehicle emissions. Numerous student handouts are provided. The activity content may be presented independently of its unit and without using an air quality monitor by analyzing provided sample data.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ashley Collier
Ben Graves
Daniel Knight
Drew Meyers
Eric Ambos
Eric Lee
Erik Hotaling
Hanadi Adel Salamah
Joanna Gordon
Katya Hafich
Michael Hannigan
Nicholas VanderKolk
Olivia Cecil
Victoria Danner
Date Added:
02/07/2017
Communicating Your Results
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Educational Use
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Students groups create scientific research posters to professionally present the results of their AQ-IQ research projects, which serves as a conclusion to the unit. (This activity is also suitable to be conducted independently from its unit—for students to make posters for any type of project they have completed.) First, students critically examine example posters to gain an understanding of what they contain and how they can be made most effective for viewers. Then they are prompted to analyze and interpret their data, including what statistics and plots to use in their posters. Finally, groups are given a guide that aids them in making their posters by suggesting all the key components one would find in any research paper or presentation. This activity is suitable for presenting final project posters to classmates or to a wider audience in a symposium or expo environment. In addition to the poster-making guide, three worksheets, six example posters, a rubric and a post-unit survey are provided.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Mathematics
Statistics and Probability
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ashley Collier
Ben Graves
Daniel Knight
Drew Meyers
Eric Ambos
Eric Lee
Erik Hotaling
Hanadi Adel Salamah
Joanna Gordon
Katya Hafich
Michael Hannigan
Nicholas VanderKolk
Olivia Cecil
Victoria Danner
Date Added:
02/07/2017
Linking Sources and Pollutants
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Educational Use
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Students use next-generation air quality monitors to measure gas-phase pollutants in the classroom. They apply the knowledge they gained during the associated lesson—an understanding of the connection between air pollutants and their possible sources. Student teams choose three potential pollutant sources and predict how the monitor’s sensors will respond. Then they evaluate whether or not their predictions were correct, and provide possible explanations for any inaccuracies. This activity serves as a simple introduction to the low-cost air quality monitoring technology that students use throughout the associated activities that follow. Three student handouts are provided.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ashley Collier
Ben Graves
Daniel Knight
Drew Meyers
Eric Ambos
Eric Lee
Erik Hotaling
Hanadi Adel Salamah
Joanna Gordon
Katya Hafich
Michael Hannigan
Nicholas VanderKolk
Olivia Cecil
Victoria Danner
Date Added:
02/07/2017
Study Design for Air Quality Research
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Educational Use
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Students take an in-depth look at what goes into planning a research project, which prepares them to take the lead on their own projects. Examining a case study, students first practice planning a research project that compares traditional cook stoves to improved cook stoves for use in the developing world. Then they compare their plans to one used in the real-world by professional researchers, gaining perspective and details on the thought and planning that goes into good research work. Then students are provided with example materials, a blank template and support to take them from brainstorming to completing a detailed research plan for their own air quality research projects. Conducting students’ AQ-IQ research studies requires additional time and equipment beyond this planning activity. Then after the data is collected and analyzed, teams interpret the data and present summary research posters by conducting the next associated activity Numerous student handouts and a PowerPoint® presentation are provided.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ashley Collier
Ben Graves
Daniel Knight
Drew Meyers
Eric Ambos
Eric Lee
Erik Hotaling
Evan Coffey
Hanadi Adel Salamah
Joanna Gordon
Katya Hafich
Michael Hannigan
Nicholas VanderKolk
Olivia Cecil
Victoria Danner
Date Added:
02/07/2017
Understanding the Air through Data Analysis
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Educational Use
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Students build on their existing air quality knowledge and a description of a data set to each develop a hypothesis around how and why air pollutants vary on a daily and seasonal basis. Then they are guided by a worksheet through an Excel-based analysis of the data. This includes entering formulas to calculate statistics and creating plots of the data. As students complete each phase of the analysis, reflection questions guide their understanding of what new information the analysis reveals. At activity end, students evaluate their original hypotheses and “put all of the pieces together.” The activity includes one carbon dioxide worksheet/data set and one ozone worksheet/data set; providing students and/or instructors with a content option. The activity also serves as a good standalone introduction to using Excel.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ashley Collier
Ben Graves
Daniel Knight
Drew Meyers
Eric Ambos
Eric Lee
Erik Hotaling
Hanadi Adel Salamah
Joanna Gordon
Katya Hafich
Michael Hannigan
Nicholas VanderKolk
Olivia Cecil
Victoria Danner
Date Added:
02/17/2017