It's Our Air - 1-3 Parts Per Million It's Our Air - Home About Curriculum Quick Index Teacher Tips FAQ Contact ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: What does parts per million mean? How different is 1 part per million from 1 part per billion? Relatively speaking, how much nitrogen, oxygen, and argon are in the atmosphere? TIME NEEDED: 45 minutes - 1 hour MATERIALS: OPTION 1: FOOD COLORING Food coloring White ice cube tray eyedroppers or pipettes Stirring stick Several cups of water Permanent marker Rubber gloves Coffee filter or paintbrush Worksheet (included) OPTION 2: MILK Ten 100-ml beakers 100 ml of milk Graduated pipette (optional) Stirring stick Water Small focused light beam Labels for beakers Worksheet (included) TOPICS: parts per million, parts per billion, ratios, percentages TYPES: hands-on demonstration, math calculations NC ESSENTIAL STANDARDS for Earth/Environmental Science: EEn.2.5.1. Summarize the structure and composition of our atmosphere EEn.2.5.5 Explain how human activities affect air quality PARTS PER MILLION In the hands-on activity, students will develop an understanding of the terms parts per million (ppm) and parts per billion (ppb) by systematically diluting a solution of food coloring and water. They will convert ratios to percentages to ppm to ppb. They will correlate the ratios they’ve created in the classroom to the ratios of various gases in our atmosphere. As another option, the class can do a similar activity using milk and water. In this case, students can demonstrate the Tyndall Effect in which a beam of light is visible in a mixture of water and milk, even when mixture appears clear to the naked eye. PARTS PER MILLION - TEACHER TO TEACHER TIPS The quick video below has tips for doing this activity from Mark Townley, an award-winning, North Carolina high school teacher. Mark helped develop It’s Our Air and has used each of these activities with his students. [video:https://vimeo.com/185546488] BACK TO CURRICULUM PAGE OTHER MODULE 1 (AIR POLLUTANTS & THEIR SOURCES) ACTIVITIES AND VIDEOS 1-1 What Is Air? 1-2 Combustion and Combustion Equations 1-3 Parts Per Million (this activity) 1-4 The Criteria Pollutants and a Closer Look at Ozone 1-5 NC & Local Sources of Air Pollution 1-6 Making and Using Ozone Indicators 1-7 Sampling Particulate Matter Follow It's Our Air on Facebook N.C. Division of Air Quality N.C. Air Awareness Program CONTACT THE NC AIR AWARENESS PROGRAM • Mailing Address: 1641 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1641 • Physical Address: 217 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27603 • Phone: 919-707-8400 • FAX: 919-707-0718 • Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org MISSION • The North Carolina Air Awareness Program is a public outreach and education program of the North Carolina Division of Air Quality. The primary goal of the program is to reduce air pollution through voluntary actions by individuals and organizations.