What Is in the Air?

Students will identify what gases make up the air and that the air our vehicles put out are different. The students will graph the information and investigate the effects of car exhaust on human populations.

Develop and use a model to describe that matter is made of particles on a scale that is too small to be seen. Emphasize a focus on particles in general. Examples could include gases taking up space and dissolving substances in water. The use of the terms atoms and molecules will be introduced in middle school.

Develop models to show that molecules are made of different kinds, proportions, and quantities of atoms. Emphasize understanding that there are differences between atoms and molecules and that certain combinations of atoms form specific molecules. Examples of simple molecules could include water, atmospheric oxygen, and carbon dioxide.

Develop a model to describe the scale and proportion of atoms and molecules. Emphasize developing atomic models of elements and their numbers of protons, neutrons, and electrons, as well as models of simple molecules. Topics like valence electrons, bond energy, ionic complexes, ions, and isotopes will be introduced at the high school level.

Performance Expectations:
Students will Identify amounts and types of atoms and molecules found in clean air compared to polluted air. Students will use mathematics to design bar graphs that identify which chemicals are in the air during different times of year and levels of pollution. The students will apply scale, proportion, and quantity to the substances in air.


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Utah STEM Action Center
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South Salt Lake, UT 84115