Our Middle School educational curricula reached more than 500 students last year. The students learn the basics of air pollution: what it is, where it comes from, and what they can do about it.

Air Pollution Solutions leads students through an improvisational drama where they are able to act out possible solutions to afternoon ozone exposure. The scene, Tryout Trauma, sets the students up with basic character information on two “student athletes” who are focused on trying out for a sports team. Students are able to choose the sport and, after a supplied “first line”, are allowed to manipulate the scene however they choose based on the goal of changing the coach’s mind about holding tryouts during an ozone event.

The students are taught the importance of awareness and knowledge of ozone. They work on their feet using the information taught in the opening segment of the lesson plan in an attempt to educate the coach and persuade him to modify the tryouts to be more conducive to the health of the students.

Through our practice rounds we became aware that many adolescents of middle school age are still not aware of ozone, even when they have prior knowledge of asthma and asthma triggers.

The curriculum is aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS) in science, health, art, social studies, theater and language arts, and was piloted in different middle schools and evaluated by students and teachers. This environmental education program is available to middle schools in the Houston area. Air Pollution Solutions teaches students about the importance of clean air and explains how our actions can reduce air pollution.

Air Alliance Houston sends a trained teaching artist to your individual classroom for an in-depth environmental educational lesson. Help your students prepare for ozone season, which stretches from March through October, or add an air quality unit to Earth Day lessons.

Air Pollution Solution’s interactive nature promotes information retention, as proven in pre- and post-workshop evaluations administered by the teaching artist, and the students enjoy active involvement in the lesson.

Air Pollution Solutions is another successful partnering of curriculum specialist Cheryl Kaplan and our tried and true best practice tools of teaching health and science lessons through theater.