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9th Grade - As the World Turns

Throughout 9th grade students look for patterns and relationships between the physical world that they live in, the human geography they are surrounded by and the environmental health impacts that result from or impact these interactions.

Culture and Cycles: Arsenic and Human HealthIcon for Cultures & Cycles

Connections to Health
Argued to be one of the largest public health tragedies in the world, arsenic exposure via drinking water is thought to affect thousands every year. But how does arsenic get into the drinking water? How can we get it out of the water and what illnesses does it cause? The answers to these questions help people better understand how arsenic affects their health.

Students concentrate on arsenic poisoning as an example of the connections among health, geography, and geology as they develop a persuasive presentation about the dangers of arsenic in the drinking water, targeting a specific affected group.

Connections to Disciplines
This unit addresses earth science, world geography, language arts and mathematics.

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“Where does arsenic come from?” is answered in science class as students explore geochemical cycles. They will understand not only what the human health implications of arsenic in drinking water are, but also that the scale of people affected by arsenic is, in part, a result of the geochemical cycles that shape our world.
Icon for World  Health education - Social Studies
With arsenic as an example, students investigate and map a health related issue that impacts many cultures across the globe including some rather close to home, in the US and in Mexico.
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Language arts uses the arsenic issue to engage students in a discussion about the importance of literacy and students use their increased understanding of literacy, culture and the science behind an issue to develop a public service message for a population.
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Mathematics provides support in understanding parts per million, an important topic for understanding toxicity of human health.

From Global to City Air: Air Quality, City Design and Disease

Connections to Health
Why is my asthma worse today? This is a question that is increasingly asked by students as the rates of children affected by asthma increases. The quality of air impacts human health dramatically and in turn humans affect air quality. The relationship between air quality and human health is pointedly clear in this unit as students explore the built community, buildings, highways, and industrial parks, plus environmental and human health.

Using city designs from across the globe students investigate the properties of air and how a city’s physical layout and growth can impact air quality. Throughout the unit students build their understanding of how city development, air movement and air quality contribute to respiratory illness. They demonstrate their grasp of this topic via their design of a “healthy air” city located in one of ten locations where large cities exist today.

Connections to Disciplines
This unit addresses earth science, world geography, language arts and mathematics.

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Students use Flash animations along with hands-on activities to investigate air movement in the lungs and landscape; the effect of particulate matter in the lungs; and how air quality is impacted by city growth and landscape.
Icon for World Health Education - Social Studies
World geography explores the patterns and functions of human settlement, specifically cities. Students assess how physical geography affects settlement and how health concerns can play a central role in city design.
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In the language arts class students explore journal writing, literary analysis and formal writing as support while they explain their city design.
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Mathematics focuses on Cartesian coordinates and understanding the concentration of particulate matter in air.

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