Title: Out of the City and Into the Soup318

Key Words: air pollution, smog, federal air safety standards, acid rain, tourism, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Environmental Services, Air Resources Division, ozone-producing chemicals.

National Standard: 14
How human actions modify the environment.

State Standard: 14
Students will demonstrate an understanding of the connections between Earth's physical and human systems; the consequences of the interaction between human and physical systems; and the changes in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources.

Teaching Level: H

Lesson Introduction: On July 6, 1997, the lead article in the Sunday [Concord] Monitor, written by Jim Graham, described air pollution on Mt. Washington. In the following lesson plan, students are asked to formulate a response to this problem.

Objectives/Purpose: To read an article about air pollution on Mt. Washington; to evaluate the responses of state and federal officials to the problem; to analyze statistics relating to tourism within New Hampshire; to formulate a response to the issue of air pollution; to write letters to the N. H. congressional delegation articulating the response.

Materials: Copy of "High Altitude Pollutants Fouling the Air Up There," by Jim Graham in the Sunday Monitor, July 6, 1997; information about tourism and the economy in N. H., drawn from the Internet and from N. H. state government agencies. Specific titles or Internet addresses are below:

Bartlett, Peter. New Hampshire Employment Projections by Industry and Vital Signs. Concord: N. H. Employment Security, 1996.
[Both of the above are available without charge for single copies from N. H. Employment Security].

General link to N. H. State Government: http://www. state.nh.us/
List of state agencies: http://www.state.nh.us/agency/agencies/html
State parks information: http://www.nhparks.state.nh.us/
Department of Resources and Economic Development: http://ded.state.nh.us
Information on travel and tourism: http://www.visitnh.gov/
Sources of current statistics: http://www.nhworks.state.nh.us/ELMI/ELMI.HTM

Link to Senator Gregg: http://www.senate.gov/~gregg/

Link to Senator Smith: http://www.senate.gov/~smith/

Link to Rep. Sununu: http://www.house.gov/sununu/

Link to Rep. Bass: http://www.house.gov/bass/

Procedures: l. Ask students what role the U.S. government should play in regulating our daily activities. Discuss.

2. As a class, read the article on smog on Mt. Washington, cause by sources outside N. H. In listening to the article, students should evaluate new EPA standards, the costs involved in enforcing those standards on the national level, and the response of the N. H. congressional delegation to the standards.

3. Ask students how important they think clean air is to N. H. Discuss.

4. Refer students to sources on the Internet, as well as print sources on the
N. H. economy. They should be sure to check the materials on tourism, since it is the second largest industry in the state. they may also wish to find their own sources on the Environmental Protection Agency and air pollution standards, as well as checking with the state agencies mentioned in the Monitor article.

5. Divide the class into groups with a leader, a recorder, and two researchers. Students will investigate the issue, then write a letter to their senators and congressman articulating a position either for or against enforcement of the EPA standards. Students should know that Senator Gregg has announced a position on the issue since the Monitor article was written. Part of the research requirement should be to investigate his position and his reasons for it. [Since there are rapid changes in current events, students should also check with the other congressional offices to see if any of them have made a statement on the issue].

Evaluation/Assessment: Student answers to discussion questions; student research work in groups; student letters to members of the N. H. congressional delegation.

Extension/Enrichment: Guest speakers from state agencies may be invited to speak to the class about the issue. Students could also formulate a questionnaire to be sent to students around the state. The questionnaire would measure attitudes towards environmental protection on Mt. Washington and elsewhere through strengthened air quality standards.

Additional Standards: National standard 11 (economic interdependence); standard 13 (cooperation and conflict); standard 18 (interpret the present and plan for the future); state standard 13 (human systems; cooperation and conflict); standard 15 (interpret the past and present and plan for the future).

Reflection: How successful was this lesson? Did all students benefit? Were there any surprises? What might you do differently another time? Please note any changes that will make this lesson more effective and useful in the future and pass them along to the NHGA. We appreciate your comments.

Thank you,

The authors.


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