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AIR & 

climate change

Activity 7 (Elaborate): How Much is a PPM?


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Activity Summary

In this optional activity, students learn about the concept of parts-per-million (ppm) in order to understand how small amounts of pollution can have a large effect on the environment. They  do this by returning to their Pollution in a Jar activity and using mathematical reasoning skills.

Activity Objectives & Materials

Approximate Time: 30-45 minutes


  • Students will develop an intuitive and mathematical sense of the unit parts-per-million

  • Students will understand that very small amounts of pollution can have a big effect on the atmosphere


  • Atmosphere in a Jar (from previous activity)



  • How Much is a PPM?

Standards Connection




1. Frame the Activity


2. Pollution in a Jar

3. Understanding Parts-Per-Million


4. Animated Parts-Per-Million (optional)

5. Return to Pollution in a Jar

6. Making Sense of the Fractions

7. Finding Equivalent Ratios/Fractions

8. Reflection: Such a Small Amount

9. Formative Assessment


For more information about On the Air 2020, contact:

Rebecca Davis, Education Manager

For more information about Clean Air Partners, check out our website at:

© 2020 by Clean Air Partners.