Interactive Models

Air Quality Index in Fresno, CA


In this activity, students assess pie charts that show the distribution of Air Quality Index (AQI) levels from 2002 to 2020. Because the data shown is from January, April, July, and October, students can assess not only how air quality has changed over time, but also evaluate seasonal differences. Students begin this lesson by predicting which pie chart matches each year. Then they use AQI signatures to calculate the actual percentages, reflecting on their preconceived ideas about air quality in California. 


Access the Jamboard and follow the steps below.

  1. (Predict): Move each pie chart into the blue box that you think matches the Air Quality Index from that year for each season.

    1. How do you think air quality changed between 2002 and 2020? 
  2. Use the Daily Air Quality Index Signatures to rearrange the pie charts for each season. 
    1. Were your predictions accurate? Provide 1-2 examples to show how your predictions were accurate or inaccurate. 
    2. What surprised you? Explain your thinking! 
  3. Use the answer key to check your work.
    1. After looking at the answer key, did you need to move any of your pie charts? Which pie chart did you move? Looking back at the air quality index signatures, does this move make sense to you? Why or why not?

Teacher Note

Teachers who are interested in receiving the answer key, please complete the Teacher Key Request and Verification Form. We verify that requestors are teachers prior to sending access to the answer keys as we’ve had many students try to pass as teachers to gain access.

  • Internet Required
  • One-to-One (tablet, laptop, or CPU)
  • One-to-a-Group

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