Biology/Chemistry

How Pollution Disrupts Our Natural Environment

Sheila Mckinnon Sherman Elementary School

1000 W. 52nd Street

Chicago IL 60609

(773) 535-1757

Objective(s):

  1. The pupils will be able to design and conduct simple scientific investigations and /or experiments in which observations are made, data are gathered and organized, and reasonable conclusions are drawn.
  2. Conduct simple experiments and observations and explain what was discovered.
  3. Demonstrate how repeated observations improve confidence in results.
  4. Describe conditions that influence change during an investigation.
  5. Describe ways that technology is helping to solve the problems of pollution.
  6. List 3 causes of air pollution and how it affects plant and animal life.
  7. Describe how Global Warming has effected our atmosphere.

Materials Needed:

Experiment No. 1: Each student will participate in the following experiment. (Note: this can also be a group activity). The materials needed in this experiment are: 1 pair of plastic gloves, a thermometer, and 3 plastic grocery bags

Experiment No. 2: The following materials are for a group of 3 to 4 students.

2 clear plastic cups, 1 clear glass bowl, 2 thermometers, water, paper and pencil.

Strategy:

Introduction: Three major problems involved in atmospheric depletion are: 1) ozone-destroying gases, 2) acid rain, and 3) deforestation. All of these problems together cause global warming. The problem with global warming will be discussed and analyzed.

General Information:

Our atmosphere is under increasing pressure from greenhouse gases which threaten to change the climate and put holes in the ozone layer. When the atmosphere is healthy it is an efficient system able to adapt to changes. Without this ability life on Earth would be non-existent. The greenhouse gases have massively traumatized the earth’s atmosphere. Chloro-fluorocarbons (CFC) from our refrigerators and fire extinguishers destroy and damage the ozone layer. The earth is acidified by sulfur and nitrogen oxides from our cars and factories. The life expectancy of our earth as we know it, today, can no longer sustain good quality air as we know it today for our future generations.

Experiment No. 1:

Note: Gloved hand represents the EARTH

The gloved hand wrapped in plastic bags represents the toxins emitted in the atmosphere.

The students will compare their data with one another and discuss their findings.

Experiment No. 2

The students in this experiment will show how the greenhouse effect gives off toxic gasses that are enclosed in our environment heating up the earth’s atmosphere. Note: This activity should be cone on a sunny day, if this is not possible use a lamp.

Performance Assessment:

The students will be assessed by the instructor in the following ways:

References:

Knabel, R., Berey, D., and Matthias, G.. Observation and Interpretation of Earth Science. Cebco Standard Publishing Company, 1972.

Turk, Jonathan and Amos. Environmental Science. Saunders College Publishing, Chicago, Il., 1978.

Bayer, J., Warick, D., Heimans, J., Rescue Mission Planet Earth. Kingfisher Books, New York, 1994.