Mothers for Clean Air recognized for environmental education and outreach
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Excellence Awards program recognizes and honors outstanding, innovative efforts in achieving cleaner air. The awards are presented in five categories: clean air technology, community action, education/outreach, regulatory/policy innovations and transportation efficiency innovations - with two additional special awards for visionary programs and individual achievement.
This year’s award for education/outreach is presented to:
Mothers for Clean Air, Houston, Texas
Ozone Theater: Setting the Stage for Air Pollution Education
Ozone Theater is a program that uses interactive, performance-based lessons to teach students about important air quality issues. The program, created by Mothers for Clean Air in partnership with University of Texas Medical Branch Theater Outreach and Education, was developed specifically for the Houston-Galveston area and is closely aligned with state-mandated teaching objectives. The lessons are taught in a classroom setting in the form of a 35-minute interactive game. One lesson, entitled “Pesky Polluters,” is targeted at pre-K through second grade classes and teaches air quality basics and pollution sources. Children are asked to act out different air pollution sources (e.g., bus or factory). The program for grades three through five, entitled “Good Ozone, Bad Ozone,” focuses on ozone and the Air Quality Index (AQI), and uses a set of colored flags that correspond to the colors of the AQI. The students act out safe activities for each of these air pollution levels. After the lesson is complete, the school is issued a free set of AQI flags, which is used as an outdoor air quality warning at the school. According to pre- and post-testing conducted on students receiving these lessons and teachers’ evaluations, Ozone Theater has been especially effective in transmitting air quality lessons to Houston-area students.
The awards program was established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC), a senior-level policy committee that advises EPA on implementing the Clean Air Act. For more information on this year’s awards cememony, visit: http://www.epa/gov/air/caaac/clean_award.html
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