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Topic 1 - How Do Cars Contribute to Pollution?

These lessons begin with a simple crossword puzzle that teachers can use as a warm-up to discussions about air pollution. This activity helps motivate students to begin thinking about the vocabulary associated with automobile emissions and air pollution.

Subjects Addressed

English, Language Arts and Reading; Integrated Physics and Chemistry; Biology; Environmental Systems; Chemistry; Geology, Meteorology, and Oceanography; and Social Studies

Lesson 1 Air Pollution Crossword Puzzle

Activity Type:

Class discussion, independent or small group activity

Suggested Time:

30 minutes plus class discussion time

Student Objectives:
  • Develop an understanding of the vocabulary and terms associated with air pollution.
  • Gain an appreciation for the basic connections between health problems, automobile exhaust, and air pollution.

Download Lesson (PDF, 51KB)

Download Student Worksheet (PDF, 105KB)

Download Answer Key (PDF, 106KB)

Lesson 2 Pounds of Emissions-Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Activity Type:

Class discussion, student worksheet

Suggested Time:

30 minutes plus class discussion time

Student Objectives:
  • Identify the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles.
  • Calculate the average volume and weight of GHGs emitted by vehicles per gallon of fuel, per mile driven, and per year.

Download Lesson (PDF, 46KB)

Download Student Worksheet (PDF, 50KB)

Download Answer Key (PDF, 51KB)

Lesson 3 ROAD TRIP ONLINE EXPERIENCE Scavenger Hunt

Activity Type:

Online independent or small group activity

Suggested Time:

30 minutes

Student Objectives:
  • Understand how driving behaviors affect emissions.
  • Understand how vehicle maintenance affects emissions.

Download Lesson (PDF, 46KB)

Download Student Worksheet (PDF, 57KB)

Download Answer Key (PDF, 57KB)