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Graphing Stratospheric Ozone

This lesson uses NASA images of Antarctic ozone to motivate a "how-to" graphing lesson followed by more sophisticated examples of graphing using and images from the Neumayer Antarctic Station. Links are provided for investigating current knowledge of the Ozone layer, and the impact of human activity on this vital part of the Earth system.

Key Questions
1. What trends are shown by graphical analysis of ozone measurements over time?

2. How are different measurements related to each other and to possible causes of the trends?

Learning Objectives
1. Studens will investigate ozone chemistry and issues around the preservation of the Earth’s ozone layer.

2. Students will know how to read false color images of ozone concentration.

3. Students will be able to construct a correctly labeled graph and interpret trends from graphs of data.

Detailed Learning Objectives

General Subject Areas
Earth Science, Environmental Science

Author: Neil Fetter


Student Activities
The website has three parts: Introduction to the lesson organization, which is really a page for teachers, graphing section that guides students through creation of a plot of Ozone thickness against time, and "Ozone Chemistry", which offers opportunities to study other data sets, and read on-line information about the ozone layer and efforts to track and preserve it. Links to information at other websites are provided.

Student Prerequisites
Browser skills, basic knowledge of chemistry and atmospheric terms is helpful.

Student questionnaire
Answer key

Extended Learning

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Time Requirements
1-2 hours for teacher preparation, 1-3 hours for students to do the activities.

Materials Required
-Internet connected computer with WWW browser program
-Graph paper

Required Plugins

Additional Resources

Best For Grades
high school

National Science Education Standards (NSES)
grades 9-12

State Science Standards
Grades 9-12 Earth Sciences

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