Pollution and Aerosols Overview

Laura Marschke
RETI 2012
Pollution and Aerosols
This is the second topic to cover about climate change in chemistry class. Again, due to being taught
early in the semester, it requires additional background information for the students and perhaps an
extra day or two of teaching.
Unit 2 chemistry topics:
History of the atom and development of modern atomic theory
Parts of an atom
Isotopes, ions and neutral atoms
Average atomic mass
Basic structure of the periodic table
Metals, metalloids and non-metals (properties, etc)
Main families on the periodic table and their properties
Climate topics covered:
Air pollution
 Particulate matter
 Ground-level ozone
 Carbon monoxide
 Nitrogen oxides
 Sulfur oxides
 Volatile organic compounds
o Health effects
o Pollution and climate change
o Reducing air pollution
 Dust
 Sea salt
 Sulfates
 Black carbon
 Organic matter
 Nitrates
o Health effects
o Aerosols and climate change
o Reducing aerosol emissions
Bridge from chemistry to climate change:
Discussion of different elements coming together to form compounds
New properties created with the compounds
Relate back to black carbon from previous week(s)
Laura Marschke
RETI 2012
Teaching resources:
Power point – Pollution and Aerosols
Student activities:
Air pollution 101 (see PDF file)
Alternative activities:
The Six Infamous Pollutants (PDF file) – for younger students
Major Types of Air Pollutants and Their Global Distribution (PDF)
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