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You can take simple steps every day to help keep our air cleaner and more safe. The DNREC Division of Air Quality offers information, educational materials and more to help you take control.

An Air Quality Curriculum for Grades 6-12

Gerald T. Peden, a former teacher at Cape Henlopen High School, in Lewes, designed an air quality curriculum for Grades 6 through 12.


Air Quality is a multidisciplinary, Delaware-centric program designed to increase awareness of air quality issues, identify sources of pollution, describe their effects, explore the actions people, businesses, and industry can take, and develop environmental awareness in students.

Why Study Air Pollution?

This lesson includes a kick-off activity that helps students understand the basics of air pollution, including causes, effects, and potential solutions. Also included in this lesson is a cooperative Jigsaw activity that offers an in-depth understanding of air.

What Impact Does Industry Have On Air Quality?

At the heart of this lesson is map activity in which students will locate businesses in their area that release pollution into the air, the types of emissions from these facilities, and the health hazards of these emissions.

What Impact Does Transportation Have On Air Quality?

A series of activities to help students understand that America’s transportation system contributes to a large portion of the nation’s environmental problems. In this lesson students will keep a personal transportation chart in order to log their own transportation choices.

Why Study Indoor Air Pollution?

A series of reading activities to aid students in becoming aware that indoor air pollution can also have significant health effects.

What Impact Does Open Burning Have On Air Quality?

This lesson focuses on group role-play activity in which students describe a strategy they might use to influence public opinion to use composting as an alternative to open burning.

What is Acid Rain?

This lesson’s focal point is on the effects of acid rain. Students will role play the part of something that is effected by acid rain while the rest of the class attempts to answer the question of “Who or What Am I?”

What are the Health Impacts of Air Pollution?

This concludes the Air Quality lessons. Students engage in a game analyzing case studies to determine the specific pollutants likely to have caused a given set of health symptoms.

Appendices and Acknowledgements

Actions You Can Take At Home

Use energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances.

Turn off any appliances and lights when they are not in use.

Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are full, then let dishes and clothes air dry.

If you have air conditioning, set the thermostat a at 72 or higher.

Insulate your home, caulk your windows, and close off unused rooms.

Use a water-saving showerhead and limit showers to five minutes.

Use a push mower, when you can. If not, mow your grass in the evening.

Paint only when necessary and keep the lids on tightly.

Use water-based or latex paints.

Don’t burn leaves, branches, or lawn trimmings — compost them.

Avoid using charcoal lighter fluid; use an electric probe.

Tightly seal household cleaners, workshop chemicals and solvents, and garden chemicals.

Plant some trees!

Actions You Can Take On the Road

Drive less in the daytime if possible.

Try to avoid driving during periods of high congestion.

Bike, walk, carpool, or take public transportation when you can.

Plan your travel and errands in advance and consolidate trips.

Drive the speed limit.

Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and sudden stops.

Keep your tires properly inflated.

Keep your vehicle and its emission control equipment tuned and well-maintained.

Avoid prolonged idling; turn off your engine when you stop your vehicle for a short time.

Be careful not to spill gasoline when filling up your vehicle (or your lawn equipment!).

Refuel your vehicle in the evening.