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What's The Air Forecast?

Activity 10 (Evaluate): Creating an Air Quality Report

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Activity Overview

Activity Summary

To demonstrate what they’ve learned in this module, students create an air quality report including a forecast of future air quality conditions and recommendations for the public.

Activity Objectives & Materials

Approximate Time: 2 or more class periods (approx. 90-120 minutes)


  • Students will show what they’ve learned from the module by creating an air quality report



  • Students computers (highly recommended)

  • Video recording devices (optional)


  • Project guidelines (adapted for your specific project)

  • Grading rubric

Technology TipIf student computers are not available, you will need to print out relevant information for students to use to complete their projects, ex. data for them to make AQI predictions.

Standards Connection

DCI: ESS3.C – Human Impacts on Earth Systems

DCI: ESS2.D – Weather & Climate

SEP: Developing & Using Models; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

CCC: Patterns; Systems & System Models



Go to the Clean Air Partners website to show students the current AQI: Click on “Current” then choose the monitor closest to the school. Click on it to see the ozone AQI, and have students answer these questions:

  • How close was our prediction (from Activity 9) to the actual AQI?

  • Based on the time of day, do you expect the AQI to go up or down later today? Why?

If students’ predictions are very close to the actual AQI, be sure to celebrate their success as meteorologists.


1. Frame the Activity

Remind students that their goals from the beginning of this unit were:

  • To be able to explain the Code Red Day that happened in Washington, DC in 2018

  • To be able to predict other bad air quality days to help keep people safe


To show that they’ve met these goals, they are going to use what they’ve learned about air pollution and weather to create a weather forecast that is focused on air quality.

Important Note About This Activity​There are a variety of options for how to have students create and share their weather reports. For example, you may choose to have students work in groups, and have them present their work like a television weather forecast. You can also have students create posters of their forecasts. You may have students create a report based on the prediction they made in the last activity, or you can have them use new data that they gather on their own. Choose whichever methods work best for you and your students, or give students options to show what they know in their preferred way.

Step 1

2. Introduce the Project

Pass out the project guidelines for students and go over the requirements for the project. Answer any questions that students have about what the expectations are. Be sure to go over the timeline for the project as well, and what resources students will have available to them. You may also choose to share the project rubric with students in advance, or at some point during their work time.

Teacher TipIf you expect this project to take multiple days to complete, consider when you want students to make their predictions for. In other words, if the project will take 3 class days, consider having students make their predictions for the day the project will end (or the day after) instead of the first day after you start the project. Many weather websites have 7-day forecasts, and the NWS air quality forecast goes 36-hours ahead. If their prediction is for a day before the project ends, you can have them evaluate their prediction as a part of the project.

Modification If you have concerns about students all doing the same prediction for the same day, you can have them choose different days, or different locations. The AirNow website provides air quality data and predictions for the entire United States.

3. During the Project

Support students by suggesting resources, reminding them when they learned certain pieces of information, or being a thought-partner as they figure out how to present their information. Keep in mind that their goal in this project is to synthesize what they’ve learned and present it in an authentic way. Support them in their efforts to do this work, but do not do the work for them.

Step 4

4. Student Presentations (optional)

If students are presenting their work, either as an oral report or presenting posters, provide time for them to practice their presentations and get feedback from you or from their peers using a peer feedback form like this one or the presentation rubric that you will use to grade them (see activity materials). If you are short on time, consider letting students record their presentations using laptop cameras, phones, or other digital recording devices. This way students can present, but you don’t need to use class time to watch all the presentations.

5. Evaluation and Feedback

Modify the grading rubric in the handouts to match the type(s) of reports students have created. Be sure to use the rubric to provide feedback to students on their projects.

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