Breathe Better (B2) Program Resources
This page contains many helpful resources for air quality information, lessons and activities.
Messaging Materials, Ant-idling Policies and Pledge Cards
- School anti-Idling policies for cars and school buses
- Sample/Template B2 Newsletter Article
- Anti-Idling Pledge Card
- Desktop air quality forecast signs
- Clean Cities IdleBox Toolkit (idling reduction materials)
Air Quality Lessons and Activities
Check out the following links for some classroom air quality activities:
- Activities inspired by the Smithsonian's Atmosphere: Change is in the Air exhibit can be found here. Topics include (but are not limited to) atmospheric composition, particulate matter transport, and testing for ozone.
- The EPA has collected and compiled a wide variety (K-12) of air quality lessons, activities and guides here.
- AirNow has a great webpage where students can learn how everyday decisions affect air quality in Smog City and also visualize ozone and particulate matter. AirNow has also put together an Air Quality Index Toolkit for Teachers, with lesson plans for K-2, 3-5, and 6-8.
- Missouri Botanical Garden's EarthWays Center developed a full spectrum of air quality materials with the goals of increasing knowledge about air pollution and making connections between behaviors and air quality.
- Here's a great project for older students - Build Your Own Particle Sensor! (And here's the Arduino code you will need to program the sensor.)
- Air Pollution: What's the Solution? is a project developed by the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) that utilizes online, real-time data to guide student discovery of the science behind the causes and effects of ground level ozone in the context of an authentic real world problem.
- The Cilia Game is a fun, interactive way to learn how the respiratory system defends against particle pollution (from the San Luis Obispo County APCD). Here's another version of the game from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
- Looking for children's books related to air quality? Look no further! Order your copies of The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up and Why is Coco Orange?
- S.C. DHEC has put together an Environmental Outreach Activity Book with fun activities related to air quality and other forms of environmental protection. Print it yourself or request hard copies from DHEC.
South Carolina Air Quality
Learn more about how South Carolinians are protecting our air quality.
- The Spare the Air Awards recognize outstanding efforts to improve air quality across South Carolina. See what others have done and let us know about your exemplary projects!
- South Carolina has several regional air quality coalitions, where public, private and citizen stakeholders come together in support of clean air. Learn more about the efforts to protect air quality in your community.
Air Quality Information
Here are some important fact sheets, health information and other guides related to air pollution.
- Ozone Pollution
- Particulate Matter Pollution
- Air Quality and Outdoor Activity Guidance (AirNow)
- Heart Disease, Stroke, and Outdoor Air Pollution (EPA)
- Near Road Air Pollution Exposure at Schools (EPA)
- Creating Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools (EPA)
- Managing Asthma in the School Environment (EPA)
- Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act (CAA) (EPA)
Other School Programs
- Green Steps Schools - B2 counts as a "Protect: Outdoor Air Quality" Project.
- Safe Routes to School - Organize safe walk- or bike-to-school days to help Spare the Air!
Other Interesting Air Quality Resources
- Learn about air pollution and visibility through the National Park Service's Air Quality Web Cameras. Current pictures, air quality and weather conditions are available for 19 parks as well as side-by-side views of clear and hazy days.
- Have students evaluate ozone injury on plants using the National Park Service Ozone Sensitive Species Training page.
- Learn about atmospheric temperature inversions, culprits of many bad air pollution events, using this demonstration.
- "Carl Gets Some Rest" (PDF) is an EPA coloring book centered on the lesson of alternative modes of transportation.
- "The Air We Breathe" is a picture book (K-4) from NASA that is designed to introduce Earth's atmosphere, its importance to life on Earth, and how the addition of new gases changes the quality of the air we breathe.
- Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, has a no-idling policy.
At the end of each school year, B2 participation is analyzed and summarized in a yearly report. Past years' reports are linked below.
- 2016 - 2017
- 2015 - 2016
- 2014 - 2015
- 2013 - 2014
- 2012 - 2013
- 2011 - 2012
- 2010 - 2011
- 2009 - 2010
- 2008 - 2009