Tumacácori sits at a cultural crossroads in the Santa Cruz River valley. Here O’odham, Yaqui, and Apache people met and mingled with European Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, settlers, and soldiers, sometimes in conflict and sometimes in cooperation. Follow the timeworn paths and discover stories that connect us to enduring relationships, vibrant cultures, and traditions of long ago.
This environmental education program engages K-5th Grade students in hands-on learning activities designed to promote collaboration and critical thinking skills.
Main Goal of “Up in the Air” Education Program
The main goal of “Up in the Air: an Air Pollution Education Program” is to educate elementary students and their families about the importance of clean air. Kids learn simple actions they can take to help improve local air quality so we can all live, work, and play in a healthy environment.
Air Pollution Topics Covered in “Up in the Air”:
- Properties of Air
- Common Air Pollutants
- Sources of Air Pollution
- Monitoring Air Quality
- Health Effects of Air Pollution
- Reducing Air Pollution
Program Materials for K-5th Grade are Available!
The “Up in the Air: an Air Pollution Education Program” provides elementary environmental educators with inquiry-based, hands-on air pollution lessons within two units for K-2nd Grade and 3rd-5th Grade.
Each “Up in the Air” Unit Includes:
- 6 to 8 air quality lesson plans aligned to current Arizona academic standards for science, English/language arts, math, and social studies
- Key vocabulary
- Essential questions to focus student learning
- Detailed instructions for each investigation
- Blackline masters for all lab sheets and assessments
- Websites, videos, and other online tools
- Digital lessons for interactive SMART boards
“Up in the Air” Classroom Investigation Lab Activity Example
This lab instructions tutorial video explains how to model pollution dispersion using water and food dye. This lab activity is taken from the 3rd-5th Grade Unit, Lesson Four of “Up in the Air” Education Program.
Additional “Up in the Air” Resources for Maricopa County Educators:
- Resource kits, containing all materials needed to teach the unit, are available for check-out from the Maricopa County Air Quality Department
- A 45-minute hands-on classroom presentation provided by the Maricopa County Air Quality Dept.
For “Up in the Air” education program resource kits and other air quality learning materials, please contact the Education Outreach Coordinator for the Maricopa County Air Quality Dept.
Environmental Education Video Content Provided by
Jenny Frank, Education Outreach Coordinator for the Maricopa County Air Quality Department
Kids Making Sense™ is a global environmental education program that empowers the next generation of citizen scientists, developed by Sonoma Technology, Inc. Discover how students can use portable air quality sensors to measure particle pollution at their school!
Maricopa County Air Quality Department is bringing this innovative STEM program to schools in Maricopa County at no cost. To learn more, contact JennyFrank@mail.maricopa.gov.
Observing phenology, or plant and animal life cycle events, through Nature’s Notebook citizen science program from the USA National Phenology Network offers place-based, hands-on learning opportunities, provides a collaborative platform for site-based educators, and promotes cross-subject engagement while addressing standards of learning. Their formal and non-formal education resources can be used to help students of all ages plug into real-world scientific research questions addressed by many researchers, natural resource, land manager and educational groups. Phenology is an excellent lens for teaching about the natural world.
The primary mission of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research is to remain in the forefront of world dendrochronology through the use of tree rings as natural chronometers and recorders of change in the environment with which human society is inescapably linked. The Laboratory makes significant contributions to understanding natural environmental variability in climatic, hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological systems.
They are committed to promoting public awareness (and understanding) of science and making informal contributions to science education. As part of their Outreach program, they strive to inspire new connections and nurture existing connections among our community, which includes visitors to and residents of Tucson, and the K-12 educators and students communities.
Green Education Foundation (GEF) is a national non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. GEF aims to identify key factors and impediments influencing sustainability education, evaluate existing approaches, and develop effective educational materials and programs to promote behavior change towards sustainable practices. GEF offers free programs that provide curricula and hands-on activities to inspire K-12 students and teachers to think holistically about global sustainability concerns and solutions.
Climate Change and the Water Cycle – a 10-hour curriculum unit for 6-12th grade students
Population Education, a program of Population Connection, is the only national program with a strong emphasis on curriculum and professional development for K-12 educators that focuses on human population issues. Since 1975, the program has developed age-appropriate curricula to complement students’ science and social science instruction about human population trends and their impacts on natural resources, environmental quality and human well-being. Population Education provides hands-on professional development training to approximately 10,000-12,000 teachers and student teachers annually in North America.
Founded in 1996, Gardens for Humanity works for ecological education to help give our children and all members of our community the values, tools and experiences needed to seek and regain balance with the natural world.
Current projects include assisting in the development of home and community gardens, school gardens, art and environmental education and being a resource for the development of local agriculture and sustainable food systems.
Sedona Recycles is a non-profit community recycling center dedicated to environmental education. They offer free classes for any grade or age level to schools, clubs, and other organizations. Classes are specific to teachers’ desired goals, and educational tours of the facility are an excellent tie-in. Recycling conserves energy, water, and land as well as other natural resources so many facets of curriculum can be addressed. They have done recycled art classes with materials provided from the center, and even marine biology classes including information on the effects of plastics in the ocean.
The mission of the Willow Bend Environmental Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, is to provide education outreach services that build environmental awareness and an ethic of responsible stewardship of our natural and cultural resources.
Tucson, AZ 85733