From Global to City Air

General Description of the Major Project
Students take on the role of city planners as they design a city with health at the top of their priorities. Using the actual physical geographical location of major cities, they develop a scaled model of a city including city zones. Students focus on excellent air quality as a healthy city design feature using their understanding of climate, weather, and air movement.

In science class, students will discover the following:

  • How winds and water carry pollutants in predictable paths following currents
  • How geography affects climate
  • How microclimates can be affected by geography and human construction to prepare them to consider these concepts in the major project.
In language arts, students work with non-fiction texts analyzing historical journals and literary devices, uncovering values and beliefs held by the authors. Students also learn to write formal papers for the official city proposal as part of the major project.

Finally, in social studies, students will learn about human settlement, city design and how physical systems impact human systems as they design and construct a scale model city conducive to air quality health.

Introducing the project to your students:
Students are introduced to the major project in the geography lesson, Dreaming of a Healthy City.

Which lessons are central to the Major Project?
The major project provides a forum for student learning demonstration on an environmental health or biomedical issue. Some lessons are more pertinent to the major project than others.

The chart below highlights lessons we think are central to the major project either because they deal specifically with air quality or with presentation skills to different populations. Other lessons may be necessary to support these lessons.
Science World Geography Language Arts Math
How’d That Pollution Get There?   Formal Essay Process
Fallout!   Thesis Statement  
What makes the Air Brown   Final Drafting  
Inversion Layers Dreaming of a Healthy City Intros & Conclusions
CO2 City Simulation   Topic Sentences & Transitions  
Pollutant Poster   Sentence Variety & Fluency
  Planning a Healthy City Revision
    Final Draft  
  Building a Healthy City    

PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

1996-2007, The University of Arizona
Last update: November 10, 2009
  Page Content: Rachel Hughes
Web Master: Travis Biazo