Air Pollution Videos

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.

Ozone measurement next to the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles

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

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.

 

Fecal Coliform Bacteria

Students need to understand fecal coliform bacteria. This is bacteria that comes from mammal waste and can be an indicator of a sewage spill, or something else that contaminates the water (like a feedlot upstream).

Sometimes, I am short the funds to buy fecal coliform tests (which cost between $70-$100) for all my students. This year, I decided to spend my funds elsewhere and filmed the process instead. Students filled in a section of their Water Quality Virtual Lab using this video.

Students took data and determined water quality based on the results. Its not as good as kids getting the hands-on experience, but can do in a pinch if funds are needed elsewhere or if time is crunched.

I also do Biological Oxygen Demand via video due to the lack of surface water near my school.

Biological Oxygen Demand

I live in arid Southern California where surface water is scarce and it is impossible for my students to measure Biological Oxygen Demand in person. So, I filmed the process for my students. Students filled in part of their Water Quality Virtual Lab using these videos.

After watching this video and calculating water quality for three samples based on BOD, students watched this video explaining it.

My students drew the curve to match my drawing (starting at about 2 minutes.

This year, I also did Fecal Coliform Bacteria to save funds for other materials.

Teaching El Nino

Students and many teachers struggle with El Nino. Being in California, we have an advantage in that we know what “normal” conditions are so its easier to understand the “opposite of normal” or El Nino conditions.

Many people think that El Nino is heavy rain storms.  Technically, we are in an El Nino when we have the presence of warm water off the coast.

This video is one that I recorded for my online class.  My regular classes get this presentation with me in class since its a hard concept.

Click for the corresponding worksheet.

 

Brandie Freeman (an awesome APES teacher) made this cool video on how to demo El Nino. Some teachers do the demo and others just show to their classes.

Notable Diseases

Students in AP® Environmental Science need to know several of the notable or “infamous” diseases.  These are the ones most likely to be found on the AP® Exam.

For many years, my students filled in this chart during an in class presentation. I now have a flipped class so students watch this video on Edpuzzle. I check the charts for credit and also give credit for questions answered on Edpuzzle. These are the ways I ensure accountability in a flipped class. I wrote about flipping last year as well as research and communication.

Students also need to know several different toxins which I wrote about in Notable Toxins.

 

Notable Toxins

Students have to know several important toxins for the AP® Environmental Science Exam. These are the toxins most likely to be asked about on the AP® Exam.

For many years, my students filled in this chart during an in class presentation. I now have a flipped class so students watch this video on Edpuzzle. I check the charts for credit and also give credit for questions answered on Edpuzzle. These are the ways I ensure accountability in a flipped class. I wrote about flipping last year as well as research and communication.

Students also need to know several diseases which I wrote about in Notable Diseases.

 

GPP/NPP Virtual Lab

I don’t always have time for students to do a lab. Every day is precious. And, sometimes I don’t have the funds to do a certain lab. Sometimes, I find a video clip instead to help them learn a concept.  Recently, however, I’ve started creating my own mini videos.

This is what I created for Gross Primary Production/Net Primary Productivity and Respiration.  I took a regular lab, filmed it and now the kids can watch and fill in the lab sheet in about 30 minutes instead of taking about 2 hours of class time.

This is not the best teaching technique. Inquiry labs and the 5E is best, but that’s not always possible with so much content to get through in an AP® Class.

Read here to find more tips for teaching an AP® science class and ways to help teach large numbers of AP® kids.