MY NASA DATA Lesson:

Human Effect

Carbon Monoxide

Image courtesy NASA

Purpose:
To investigate changes in air quality due to human interaction particularly burning of fossil fuels, and crop burning which increase levels of carbon monoxide.
Grade Level: 3 – 5
Estimated Time for Completing Activity: Two 45 minute class periods. Part One: Teacher directed Part Two: Student directed
Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will observe Air Quality-Carbon Monoxide Data
  • Students will evaluate changes in air quality over a 6 month time frame
  • Students will draw conclusions about air quality based on observing color plot comparison graphs
  • Students will infer effects of human interaction on air quality
  • Students will manipulate data sets from MyNASAData website
Prerequisite
National Standards:
  • Science Content: C Life Science
  • Science Content: E Science and Technology
  • Science Content: F Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
  • Science Content: G History and Nature of Science
Virginia Standards of Learning:
  • Sci3.8: The student will investigate and understand basic patterns and cycles occurring in nature. Key concepts include patterns of natural events (day and night, seasonal changes, phases of the moon, and tides), and animal and plant life cycles.
  • Sci3.10: The student will investigate and understand that natural events and human influences can affect the survival of species. Key concepts include the interdependency of plants and animals, the effects of human activity on the quality of air, water, and habitat, the effects of fire, flood, disease, and erosion on organisms, and conservation and resource renewal.
  • Sci4.5: The student will investigate and understand how plants and animals in an ecosystem interact with one another and the nonliving environment.
Vocabulary:
Lesson Links:
Background:

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and dangerous gas. It can be found in varying amounts around the world in the air we breathe. Carbon monoxide levels can be influenced by many things: burning coal and other fossil fuels, burning crop wastes, wildfires, etc.

Procedure:

PART ONE: Teacher directed (procedure under the Teacher Notes section).

PART TWO: Student directed

A. Personal Location
1. Click on the Live Access Server Link in the Lesson Links Section above.
2. If you are not automatically prompted with dataset choices, click on ‘Choose DataSe’ in the upper left of the screen.
3 Next click on Atmosphere, Air Quality, and then select Monthly Daylight Column Carbon Monoxide (MOPITT)
4. on the left side of the screen under ‘Line Plots’ select ‘Time Series’
5. Change the date Range to Mar 2000 to Sep 2000
6. In the longitude and latitude value boxes, enter the values for your location
7. Make sure to click the radio button next to ‘Update Plot’ at the menu at the top of the screen to see your changes.
8. Using this data, answer student directed questions 1-3.

B. Comparing two datasets
1. Click on the Live Access Server Link in the Lesson Links Section above.
2. If you are not automatically prompted with dataset choices, click on ‘Choose DataSe’ in the upper left of the screen.
3 Next click on Atmosphere, Air Quality, and then select Monthly Daylight Column Carbon Monoxide (MOPITT)
4. on the left side of the screen under ‘Line Plots’ select ‘Time Series’
5. Change the date Range to Mar 2000 to Sep 2000
6. From the top menu select ‘Compare’
7. Using the Compass Roses below the top to two plots, change the Latitude and Longitudes to

For Africa type in:
Lat: 2.63 S to 2.63 S
Long: 16.88 E to 16.88 E

For China type in:
Lat: 35.66 N to 35.66 N
Long: 114.75 E to 114.75 E

Verify that the time time range is set to:
Mar 2000 to Sep 2000

8. Be sure to click on ‘Update Plots’ found in the upper left portion of the screen to see your changesa.
9. Using this data, answer student directed questions 4-6.

Questions:

Teacher directed: LOCATED UNDER TEACHER NOTES

Student directed:

1. When is the carbon monoxide level lowest in your location?
2. When is the carbon monoxide level highest in your location?
3. Between which two months is the difference of levels highest?
4. In what month is the carbon monoxide level lowest in Africa?
5. In what month is the carbon monoxide level highest in China?
6. Would you rather live in China or Africa, based on this data?

Extensions:

1. Open MyNASAData (lesson links section).
2. Click on +Data Access
3. Click on +Live Access Server (Advanced Edition)
4. The two blue tabs on the left-Click on Compare two
5. Under the tab, click on Dataset 1
6. To the right under Select Dataset: Click on Atmosphere
7. Under Select Dataset: Click on Air Quality
8. Under Dataset Variable(s), select Monthly Daylight Column Carbon Monoxide (MOPITT)
9. Click on the red Next Button
10. Under Select Dataset: Click on Atmosphere
11. Under Select Dataset: Click on Air Quality
12. Under Dataset Variable(s), select Monthly Daylight Column Carbon Monoxide (MOPITT)
13. Click on the red Next Button
14. Check that the following options are selected:
View: Time series (t)
Output: overlay plot
Region: Full Region

To the left of the map, you will notice Var 1 and Var 2 options
Select Var 1 and type in:
Lat: 25.4717 S to 24.4717 S
Long: 65.25 W to 65.25 W

Select Var 2 and type in:
Lat: 35.6604 N to 35.6604 N
Long: 114.75 E to 114.75 E

Select time range:
Mar 2000 to Sep 2000

In which location would you rather live? Why?
What is similar about the two lines?
What is different about the two lines?

Lesson plan contributed by Becky Schnekser, MY NASA DATA Team

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