Drive Clean Texas

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Unit 1: What Is Air Pollution and How Do Cars Contribute to It?

This unit begins with a simple, quick word search exercise teachers can use as a warm-up to discussions about air pollution. This activity helps trigger students to begin thinking about the vocabulary associated with automobile emissions and air pollution.

Students will use two-liter soda bottles to begin to understand the "weight" of automobile pollution and to raise their awareness about the differences between pollutants and the quantity of pollutants emitted by cars versus sport-utility vehicles (SUVs).

This unit is designed to offer you maximum flexibility. The lessons can be taught as a whole, or individual lessons and activities may be extracted and taught separately as a complement to other materials you may be using.

Subjects Addressed:

English, Language Arts and Reading; Integrated Physics and Chemistry; Biology; Environmental Systems; Chemistry; Geology, Meteorology, and Oceanography; and Social Studies

Please see downloadable activities in each lesson for all TEKs covered.

Lesson 1 – Air Pollution Word Search

Purpose

Activity 1 – Air Pollution Word Search (PDF, 115 KB)
Air Pollution Word Search (PDF, 192 KB)
Air Pollution Word Search Key (PDF, 206 KB)

Lesson 2 – Pounds of Pollution: What's in the air and how bad is it?

Air pollution is often referred to in terms of pounds. We know air has weight, but how much of a gas is a pound? Using two-liter bottles and calculations, this lesson helps students understand the "weight" of automobile pollution and helps raise awareness about the differences between pollutants and the quantity of pollutants emitted by cars versus sport-utility vehicles (SUVs).

Purpose

Activity 1 – Pounds of Pollution: What's in the Air and How Bad is it? (PDF, 154 KB)

Unit 2: Transportation and Air Pollution: Impacts and Consequences

These lessons discuss and explain the combustion process and past and current efforts to make gasoline burn cleanly. Students will learn how vehicles contribute to air pollution and about the health consequences of polluted air. Students will study a diagram of how ozone is formed and how it travels, and by researching, students will learn if they live in a non-attainment area.

A key point for students to understand is that with small numbers of vehicles in operation, their impact on public health and the environment is relatively small. With large numbers of vehicles in use, the problem grows. In choosing new fuels for vehicles, we need to consider the health and environmental impacts of an ever-growing number of vehicles using them. In 1999, the world population reached 6 billion; it is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. In addition to the rapidly growing world population is the even faster growth of energy consumption taking place as standards of living rise throughout the world, making it urgent to find ways to reduce our use of fossil fuels.

Subjects Addressed:

Environmental Systems; Geology, Meteorology, and Oceanography; Social Studies; World Geography Studies; Advanced Health; and Agricultural Science and Technology Education

This unit is designed to offer you maximum flexibility. The lessons can be taught as a whole, or individual lessons and activities may be extracted and taught separately as a complement to other materials you may be using.

Please see downloadable activities in each lesson for all TEKs covered.

Lesson 1 – Health, Pollution, and Safety: Why Should We Care?

Purpose

Activity 1 – Background Reading & Discussion (PDF, 135 KB)
Health, Pollution, and Safety: The Challenge (PDF, 395 KB)
Automobile Related Emissions (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Who's Interested in AFVs? Who Cares about Health, Pollution, and Safety? (PDF, 424 KB)
Health, Pollution, and Safety: Guide to Community Research (PDF, 304 KB)
Activity 2 – Discussion and Community Research (PDF, 139 KB)
Health, Pollution, and Safety: The Challenge (PDF, 395 KB)
Automobile Related Emissions (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Who's Interested in AFVs? Who Cares about Health, Pollution, and Safety? (PDF, 424 KB)
Health, Pollution, and Safety: Guide to Community Research (PDF, 304 KB)
Activity 3 – Team Research and Preparation for Presentations (PDF, 124 KB)
Health, Pollution, and Safety: Guide to Fuel Team Research (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Comparing Alternative Fuels for Pollutants and Greenhouse Gases (PDF, 105 KB)
Fuel Review Worksheet (PDF, 71 KB)
Fuel Fact Sheets (PDF, 4.6 MB)
Resource Guide (PDF, 229 KB)
Evaluating Team Reports and Presentations (PDF, 54 KB)
Activity 4 – Team Presentations and Class Discussions (PDF, 120 KB)
Health, Pollution, and Safety: Guide to Fuel Team Research (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Comparing Alternative Fuels for Pollutants and Greenhouse Gases (PDF, 105 KB)
Fuel Review Worksheet (PDF, 71 KB)
Fuel Fact Sheets (PDF, 4.6 MB)
Resource Guide (PDF, 229 KB)
Evaluating Team Reports and Presentations (PDF, 54 KB)

Unit 3: Automania: Driving Clean Today

These activities involve quizzing students on the history and use of the automobile and transportation in the United States. Students will get a sense of the repair and maintenance costs of automobiles, including pollution and transportation costs. They will investigate their community to determine the average vehicle occupancy. The students will also determine how their family uses their own vehicles. They will examine ways to reduce automobile air emissions through vehicle maintenance, reduced trips, and different driving behaviors.

Subjects Addressed:

English, Language Arts and Reading; Algebra; Environmental Science; Geology, Meterology, and Oceanography; Social Studies; and World Geography Studies

This unit is designed to offer you maximum flexibility. The lessons can be taught as a whole (all lessons), or individual lessons and activities maybe extracted and taught separately as a complement to other materials you may be using.

Please see downloadable activities in each lesson for all TEKs covered.

Lesson 1 – The Automobile: History and Current Use

Purpose

Activity 1 – The Automobile: History and Current Use (PDF, 112 KB)
Automania Worksheet (PDF, 56 KB)
Automania Worksheet Answer Key (PDF, 67 KB)

Lesson 2 – The Cost of Driving

Purpose

Activity 1 – The Cost of Driving (PDF, 112 KB)

Lesson 3 – Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO) in Your Community

While it is true that cars are "cleaner" than in the past, the rapid rise in the number of vehicles on the highways still creates pollution. Many states in the United States, and many countries around the world, have serious air quality problems. And, while the pollution may start in a particular geographic area, winds carry these clouds of pollution to other regions. As cities grow in size, air pollution problems often grow as well. One way to reduce pollution and get everyone where they're going is to use alternative means of travel such as buses, trains, bicycles, and carpools. In this activity students will survey AVO, make predictions, use mathematics, and develop ideas that promote carpooling, bicycling, bus riding, and walking.

Purpose

Activity 1 – Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO) in Your Community (PDF, 128 KB)

Unit 4: Alternative Fuels and the Cars of Tomorrow

Through reading, class discussion, community research, and presentations, these lessons cover the subject of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles from a variety of different angles. Students will learn about the changing transportation system and the need to develop and use alternative fuels, as well as the availability, safe distribution, and social and environmental costs of fuels. Finally, students will examine the issues and questions that emerge when one considers using an alternative vehicle on a daily basis.

Subjects Addressed:

English, Language Arts, and Reading; Environmental Systems; Geology, Meteorology, and Oceanography; Social Studies; United States History Studies Since Reconstruction; and Agricultural Science and Technology Education

This unit is designed to offer you maximum flexibility. The lessons can be taught as a whole (all lessons), or individual lessons and activities maybe extracted and taught separately as a complement to other materials you may be using. Note: not all alternative fuel vehicles are cleaner than gas vehicles.

Please see downloadable activities in each lesson for all TEKs covered.

Lesson 1 – Getting Oriented: The Move to alternative Fuels

This lesson helps find out what your students know about our ever-changing transportation system and the move to alternative fuels through discussion activities. Discussions include asking students to think about family holidays and the travel requirements of such events, how and why we use gasoline, and how transportation might look in the future. You may wish to contact a "Clean Cities" representative for a presentation. To find the nearest Clean Cities representative, see the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities Coalitions information online.

Purpose

Activity 1 – Class Discussion (PDF, 180 KB)
Activity 2 – Reading and Discussion (PDF, 164 KB)
Gasoline-Powered Engines: Time for a Change (PDF, 3 MB)
Activity 3 – Class Discussion (PDF, 168 KB)
The Transportation Challenge (PDF, 464 KB)
Activity 4 – Class Discussion (PDF, 167 KB)
In Your Community, How Important Is It? (PDF, 91 KB)

Lesson 2 – Clean Fuels: Availability and Distribution

This set of activities involves identifying and explaining alternative fuels. Students will learn about the U.S. dependence on foreign oil and the challenges of obtaining petroleum products, what fuels are used to power our communities, and what stakeholders are involved in the availability, safe distribution, and social and environmental costs of fuels.

Purpose

Activity 1 – Background Reading and Discussion (PDF, 127 KB)
Availability and Distribution: The Challenge (PDF, 19.6 MB)
Transportation Fuels Engines and Motors (PDF, 697 KB)
Who's Interested in AFVs? Availability and Distribution (PDF, 417 KB)
Fuels that Power Your Community: Guide to Community Research (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Activity 2 – Class Mapping Exercise (PDF, 132 KB)
Availability and Distribution: The Challenge (PDF, 19.6 MB)
Transportation Fuels Engines and Motors (PDF, 697 KB)
Who's Interested in AFVs? Availability and Distribution (PDF, 417 KB)
Fuels that Power Your Community: Guide to Community Research (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Activity 3 – Class Community Research (PDF, 128 KB)
Availability and Distribution: The Challenge (PDF, 19.6 MB)
Transportation Fuels Engines and Motors (PDF, 697 KB)
Who's Interested in AFVs? Availability and Distribution (PDF, 417 KB)
Fuels that Power Your Community: Guide to Community Research (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Activity 4 – Introduction to Fuel Team Research (PDF, 131 KB)
Availability and Distribution: Guide to Fuel Team Research (PDF, 1.3 MB)
In Your Community, How Important Is It? (PDF, 91 KB)
Fuel Fact Sheets (PDF, 4.6 MB)
Resource Guide (PDF, 229 KB)
Evaluating Team Reports and Presentations (PDF, 54 KB)
Fuel Review Worksheet: Availability, Distribution and Pricing (PDF, 68 KB)
Activity 5 – Team Research and Preparation for Presentations (PDF, 122 KB)
Availability and Distribution: Guide to Fuel Team Research (PDF, 1.3 MB)
In Your Community, How Important Is It? (PDF, 91 KB)
Fuel Fact Sheets (PDF, 4.6 MB)
Resource Guide (PDF, 229 KB)
Evaluating Team Reports and Presentations (PDF, 54 KB)
Fuel Review Worksheet: Availability, Distribution and Pricing (PDF, 68 KB)
Activity 6 – Team presentations and Class Discussions (PDF, 123 KB)
Availability and Distribution: Guide to Fuel Team Research (PDF, 1.3 MB)
In Your Community, How Important Is It? (PDF, 91 KB)
Fuel Fact Sheets (PDF, 4.6 MB)
Resource Guide (PDF, 229 KB)
Evaluating Team Reports and Presentations (PDF, 54 KB)
Fuel Review Worksheet: Availability, Distribution and Pricing (PDF, 68 KB)

Lesson 3 – Alternative Fuel Vehicles: Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling

This set of lessons helps tackle the tough questions that emerge when one considers using AFVs on a daily basis. Where can I fill this thing up? How well does this thing work? How would my life be different? How much space do I need in my vehicle? How much power do these alternative fuels offer?

Purpose

Activity 1 – Background Reading and Discussion (PDF, 119 KB)
Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling: The Challenge (PDF, 191 KB)
Getting Around Your Community: Guide to Community Research (PDF, 179 KB)
Who's Interested in AFVs? Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling (PDF, 721 KB)
Activity 2 – Group Discussions and Community Research (PDF, 123 KB)
Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling: The Challenge (PDF, 191 KB)
Getting Around Your Community: Guide to Community Research (PDF, 179 KB)
Who's Interested in AFVs? Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling (PDF, 721 KB)
Activity 3 – Class Discussion (PDF, 140 KB)
Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling: The Challenge (PDF, 191 KB)
Getting Around Your Community: Guide to Community Research (PDF, 179 KB)
Who's Interested in AFVs? Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling (PDF, 721 KB)
Activity 4 – Fuel Team Research and Preparation for Presentations (PDF, 136 KB)
Energy Content Fuels (PDF, 5 MB)
Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling: Guide to Fuel Team Research (PDF, 191 KB)
How do Typical 20th Century Vehicles Work? (PDF, 212 KB)
Evaluating Team Reports and Presentations (PDF, 54 KB)
Fuel Fact Sheets (PDF, 4.6 MB)
Resource Guide (PDF, 229 KB)
Fuel Review Worksheet: Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling (PDF, 61 KB)
Activity 5 – Team Presentations and Class Discussions (PDF, 122 KB)
Energy Content Fuels (PDF, 5 MB)
Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling: Guide to Fuel Team Research (PDF, 191 KB)
How do Typical 20th Century Vehicles Work? (PDF, 212 KB)
Evaluating Team Reports and Presentations (PDF, 54 KB)
Fuel Fact Sheets (PDF, 4.6 MB)
Resource Guide (PDF, 229 KB)
Fuel Review Worksheet: Operation, Maintenance, and Refueling (PDF, 61 KB)

Acknowledgements

On behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Drive Clean Texas (DCAT) would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their thoroughly and thoughtfully produced educational material.

DCAT personnel searched the nation's wealth of air quality educational material and selected a number of high quality units and lessons to use in the creation of the DCAT curriculum. As a campaign funded by TxDOT, TCEQ, and the Federal Highway Administration, we searched for material relevant to transportation-related air quality. Many of these lessons are presented as they were originally conceived. However, in an effort to localize the air quality curriculum to Texas and to better fit the lessons to DCAT campaign messages, some changes have been made. We invite you to visit the websites listed below for original content. The individuals and organizations below have also been credited within the lessons where appropriate.

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