Sounds crazy, but a good air pollution documentary doesn’t exist to show to our students. Instead, there are many smaller videos that work well. I live in Southern California, and we have terrible air pollution problems as shown by an ozone measurement below.
Here are my favorite air pollution videos. While focused on California, the information is important for all students and will be asked about on the AP® Exam.
With Every Breath: Health Effects of Smog
This is made by the California Air Resources Board so it focuses mainly on Photochemical smog (troposphere ozone, NOx and particulate matter). It is 19 minutes and engaging for students.
Clearing CA Skies
Also made by the California Air Resources Board. Covers the history of air pollution and its control. Very positive video for students to see an environmental success story. It is 17 minutes.
Ted-Ed The Science of Smog
This is nice, new Ted-Ed developed by an APES teacher–5 minutes.
Bozeman Science videos are great as review–not for initial learning (even Mr. Andersen emphasizes that).
The Right to Breathe
This one was made by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (in Southern California), but is not as not as upbeat or engagement as the as others (in my opinion). It has a good environmental justice theme, however.