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How does the ozone hole change over time?

Megan Sapp Nelson ( (ready to use)

Catherine Fraser Riehle (

Subject Areas
Information Science, Science

Grade Levels
7, 8, 9

Unit Keywords
graphing; compiling data; ozone; data sets;

Open Directory Category

Rationale of the Unit
Students use NASA data to graph changes in Ozone over time above the Antarctic, while learning about atmospheric sciences, the chemistry of ozone, graphing data and keeping a laboratory record.

  INVESTIGATE Go to Topgo to top
Background and Resources
BACKGROUND -- brief overview
Students will use the NASA Ozone Hole Watch to graph changes in Dobson Units of Ozone in a given spot over time. A data set of 48 months allow students to see that data can be interpreted differently depending upon the time frame used.

READINGS -- texts, slides, audio/video
Indiana State Education Standards
8.1.4 Explain why accurate record keeping, openness, and replication are essential for maintaining and investigator's credibility with other scientists and society.

8.1.7 Explain why technology issues are rarely simple and one-sided because contending groups may have different values and priorities.

8.1.8 Explain that human help shape the future by generating knowledge, developing new technologies, and communicating ideas to others.

8.2.4 Use technological devices, such as calculators and computers to perform calculations.

8.2.5 Use computers to store and retrieve information in topical, alphabetical, numerical, and keyword files and create simple files of the students' own devising.

8.2.6 Write clear, step-by-step instructions (procedural summaries) for conducting investigations, operating something, or following a procedure.

8.2.7 Participate in group discussions on scientific topics by restating or summarizing accurately what others have said, asking for clarification or elaboration, and expressing alternative positions.

8.2.8 Use tables, charts and graphs in making arguments and claim in, for example, oral and written presentations about lab or fieldwork.

8.2.9 Explain why arguments are invalid if based on very small samples of data, biased samples, or samples for which there is no control sample.

8.3.6 Understand and explain that the benefits of Earth's resources, such as fresh water, air, soil, and trees are finite and can be reduced by using them wastefully or by deliberately or accidentally destroying them.

8.3.7 Explain that the atmosphere and the oceans have a limited capacity to absorb wastes and recycle materials naturally.

8.4.8 Describe how environmental conditions affect the survival of individual organisms and how entire species may prosper in spite of the poor survivability or bad fortune of individuals.

8.5.4 Illustrate how graphs can show a variety of possible relationships between two variables.

WEB SITES -- sites for exploration and interaction


  CREATE Go to Topgo to top
Activities and Open-ended problems
Day 1 Discussion/lecture of ozone chemistry. Discussion of history of ozone tracking. Basic overview of Excel.
Day 2 Students create an Excel spreadsheet of data list and use Excel to graph their points.

Students select a point on Antarctica TOMS graph.( ) Using that one point, student creates a list of the Dobson Unit levels at that site for 48 months. Students choose time range and location.

OPEN-ENDED PROBLEMS -- creative extensions

  DISCUSS Go to Topgo to top
Dialogues, Discussions, and Presentations
Why does the ozone hole matter to individuals?
Why does NASA release all of this data to the public?
How could a group that does not think that a hole in the ozone is a new natural occurrence use this data to prove their point?
After presentation:
How can a graph be deceptive? What do you need to look at carefully when looking at a graph for information?

Groups (2-3 students) pick a viewpoint:
Ozone layer hole is not growing.
Ozone layer hole is growing.
Group creates a graph showing their viewpoint, using data in their overall graph. Group presents their argument and data to the rest of the class. (3-5 minute presentation.) Discuss what data they chose to select for their graph, and how they chose it.

  REFLECT Go to Topgo to top
Assessment, Related Questions, and Story of the Unit
Turn in 1 TOMS diagram with chosen location marked on it. Turn in completed 48 month graph. Turn in laboratory report of process.
Present viewpoint graph in class. Turn in completed viewpoint graph. Assess presentation and leading discussion in class.

Credits & Acknowledgements

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