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Author

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Biology, Health

Resource Type

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 55 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey, North Jersey

Format

YouTube Video

NJClimateWeek: Air Quality

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Synopsis
  • This video from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection details the changing air quality in New Jersey due to higher temperatures. 
  • The video begins in Newark, where residents are experiencing higher than usual rates of asthma and hospitalization, which can be exacerbated by lower air quality. 
  • Many tools and suggestions are provided to viewers to help reduce their exposure to ozone and other pollutants.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This resource features multiple perspectives from across New Jersey. 
  • The video focuses on New Jersey, but it can be used as an exemplar for many other geographic locations. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students would benefit from a general understanding of how air quality is impacted by warming temperatures.
  • Teachers should note the misspelling of "Celsius" in the subtitles starting at 2:19 in the video.

Differentiation

  • Social Studies classes could use this resource to discuss how local and state governments can and should legislate, advocate, and work towards lessening the impacts of global warming for their residents. 
  • Consider using this video to discuss how often the impacts of global warming are felt by the most vulnerable. What examples are discussed in the video? What other examples can students brainstorm?
    • As an extension, have students consider which of the action items explained in the video would have the biggest impact. How can students, at an individual or group level, advocate for them? 
  • Other related resources include this article about Michigan's most toxic ZIP code, this video about a young climate activist, and this interactive map that shows environmental and demographic data.
Scientist Notes
The video presents the cascading impact of ground-level ozone and particulates on air quality. In New Jersey, the low-income and vulnerable groups are worst hit by air pollution. Notably, the government is making efforts to transition the energy, transportation, residential, commercial and industrial sectors to low-carbon sectors to limit air pollution and improve air quality in NJ. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS.ESS3.1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • 6.LS1.5 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
  • Social Sciences
    • Social Science Analysis (K-12)
      • 6.27 Assess individual and collective capacities to take action to address local and regional issues, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.
      • 8.34 Analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
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