The Ozometrons! Twin Ridges Home Study Charter School Nevada City, California
Nevada County rated among the dozen most ozone-polluted counties in the United States by the EPA and American Lung Association!!! Ground level ozone has the same chemical composition as atmospheric ozone both are O3 but when it occurs close to the ground it is very dangerous to human health. Ground level ozone is created by the reaction of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sun light. When ozone is inhaled oxidizes with your internal tissues and can cause many health problems such as lung and heart disease. It also impacts wild life and plants, pretty much anything alive is affected by it. It can cause a seriously weakened immune system, making everything more prone to diseases.
EDUCATE: Protect Ourselves from Ozone Exposure GENERATE: Teach Others About the Dangers of Ozone PARTICPATE: Decrease ozone producing activity Team Ozomoter Action Plan: Our Action Plan is 3 fold: EDUCATE, GENERATE, PARTICIPATE! We started by EDUCATING ourselves about the dangers of ground level ozone. We poured over the web finding out everything we could about how ozone is created, the negative impacts it has on human health and the environment and what we can do to help stop ozone from being created. Everyone in the club chose a particular aspect of ozone and wrote a paper summarizing what they learned. Once we became "ozone experts" we moved on to the second phase of our action plan. In order to GENERATE a movement we need to inform the public about the dangers of ozone. We decided to build an "ozometer" and install it outside of our school. This ozometer is modeled after the fire signs created by the Forest Service to inform people about the danger of wild fire. Every school day we will change the ozometer to mimic the current ozone reading of our county. This way members of our school and community will know when they are in harms way. We have also created a pamphlet to educate people about ozone and have attached these to our ozometer sign. Once we have GENERATED interest in the problem it is time for people to take action! The final component of our action plan is to PARTICIPATE in the solution of reducing ground level ozone. We understand that much of the ozone that we experience comes from outside of our local area but that doesn't mean we can't be a model for change. All the Ozometrons have made pledges to reduce their fossil fuel use.
We went to the Nevada County Air Quality Control Board and met with Sam an environmental scientist working with the Federal Clean Air Act and ozone. We learned how ozone is measured and how the air quality index works. Ozone Monitor We learned that Nevada County ozone is at its worst in the hot summer months especially during the late afternoon. It is during these times that the ozone levels move out of the safe green zones and into the unsafe yellow or red zones.
Ozone Action: Share with Our Community! We wanted to teach our school community about the dangers of high ground level ozone. What better way to do it then design our own ozometer? We designed and constructed this ourselves modeling it after the fire danger signs you see in our county so students and other community members know it is a real danger! We are installing it in front of our school so that everyone passing by can see it. Every school day we will monitor the ozone reading and let our community know what the ozone levels are. We feel that we are just beginning to get this movement off the ground. We are going to commit to this project for the remainder of the year and beyond. It is an incredibly important issue not only for our environment but for the health of people- especially children! Our Ozometer!
Ozone Action: Reduce our Fossil Fuels! Niles: “I pledge to” Kaia: “I pledge to” Sydney: “I pledge to” Kyle: “I pledge to” Hayley: “I pledge to” Jackie: “I pledge to” Now that we know, what can we do? By making pledges to reduce our fossil fuels we can become a part of the solution to the ozone problem. Each of the team members made a pledge and some chose to be recorded. We will be presenting our message to local schools and invite others to take the pledge to reduce their carbon footprint.
Ozone Action: Team Responsibilities Team Responsibilities: Kaia reported back about the science of ozone including how it is chemically formed. Sydney and Hayley looked at the impacts high ground level ozone has on the environment and wildlife. Kyle looked at ways that we can reduce ozone while Niles researched the EPA and the Clean Air Act and how they relate to ozone. WHOLE GROUP: Build ozometer, blog on facebook, give school presentations, answer questions.
MONITOR OUR OZONE SUCCESS! OUR GOAL 500 PLEDGES! Tally # of students reached! Track the pledges we get! Count number of schools visited! Monitor our fossil fuel use! Track ”Likes” on fb page! We hope that everyone will PARTICIPATE in reducing their consumption of fossil fuels. Our Facebook page has also been an important part of evaluating our results. We will be tallying the number of "likes" we get this year as a way to measure how many people we have been able to educate about ozone. Finally, we have several school presentations planned for the upcoming year. We will not only teach students about the dangers of ozone but we will also share with them how they can do a simple science project and measure the ozone themselves! We plan to kick off our school presentations in early spring to get students ready for the ozone season. We will keep track of how many students we reach at each school as a way to measure how many people we have reached. And we will also include pledge cards so we can determine how many people are on board with us to "Take the Pledge to Reduce their Fossil Fuels!"
Ozometrons in Action At our visit to the Nevada County Air Quality Management District learning about the ozone monitoring system.
Ozometrons in Action Constructing the TRHS Ozometer! We have made some great progress so far including generating a great deal of interest in our ozometer. Several students, parents and staff members have asked us what our sign means and our science club is always ready with a great answer. We are tracking the number of people who ask about the sign as a way to quantify how we are raising awareness in our community.
OZOMETRONS IN ACTION We understand that high ground level ozone is caused by the use of fossil fuels and so it is imperative to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and invest in more renewable energy uses. Climate change is occurring on a global level and we would like to support an organization that recognizes the connection between events like high ground level ozone in Nevada County and massive storms in New York. We plan to use our winnings towards helping the organization 350.org. We will also use our winning to help our campaign to “Green Our School” which includes installing solar panels, energy efficient appliances, composting and bike racks.