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Teachers and Students

K-12 Air Quality Education

N.C. Air Awareness is the public outreach and education program of the North Carolina Division of Air Quality. The program helps individuals and organizations understand how voluntary actions can reduce air pollution improve your health. The program provides a variety of K-12 lessons and resources for teachers. All classroom lessons are aligned with the N.C. Essential Standards to help students reach established academic goals. In many areas, our staff can come to your classroom to share air quality activities with your students. Please provide your students the opportunity to learn more about North Carolina air quality and what they can do to help keep our air clean!
See our K-12 Air Quality Education Flyer

Contact Us

Find a local air awareness expert near you, visit the N.C. Air Awareness page here and see the Take Action! section. If you would like to schedule an air quality activity or lesson in your school, please contact:

Lessons and Activities

Elementary School (Grades K-5)

The Adventures of Clair and CAM
How clean is our air? It’s important to know because children are more sensitive to air pollution because their bodies are still growing. We need your help to keep our air clean and healthy for everyone in the community. An important step in reducing air pollution is to educate students to a level of understanding that motivates and empowers them to act. Have your students join Clair, the clean air explorer, and CAM, the Clean Air Maniac on an adventure to learn what kids can do to help keep the air clean!!

Clair and CAM K-5 Curriculum (9 Activities)  / (Español)

The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up! 
In North Carolina, much of our air pollution comes from motor vehicles (cars, trucks and buses). In this lesson, students will read The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up! to learn about air pollution from motor vehicles, including school buses. Students will explore the definition of carpooling and will be able to explain why vehicles are a source of air pollution and the steps that can be taken to reduce air pollution in school areas during carpool times. In this activity, students also will evaluate different ways of traveling between school and home and will learn how personal or family transportation choices have an impact on their health and the environment. Activities for grades 3 to 5.  Materials are available in English and Spanish.

The Magic School Bus: Air Quality in North Carolina / (Español)  

What's in our Air?
In this set of short and easy activities, students will have the opportunity to learn about airborne particulate matter and how our respiratory system filters and expels them in a fun way.  Students will also learn to simulate particle sampling instruments by designing paper simple particle samplers.”

What's in Our Air (3 Activities) / (Español)

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Breathe, Don't Burn!
The N.C. Division of Air Quality, in coordination with fire departments and local community groups, has designed a set of lesson plans to educate the public about the health effects of open burning (burning trash). Teachers and students can learn about the health and environmental dangers of open burning. These classroom activities are a fun way to bring new and exciting projects into the classroom while finding solutions to air pollution from open burning.  Find more educator resources about this topic on the dedicated Open Burning Teachers and Student page.

Breathe, Don't Burn  / (Español)

High School (Grades 9-12)

It's Our Air
Bring the science of air pollution to life in your North Carolina high school classroom. It's Our Air is a free, North Carolina specific curriculum that includes a series of activities and videos focused on air quality for the state's high school level Earth and Environmental Science teachers and educators to use with their students. It's Our Air engages students in learning the science of air quality using a variety of hands-on activities and dynamic video segments. All activities are aligned with the N.C. Essential Standards for high school Earth and Environmental Science.

Learn more at


AQ-IQ Contest

Every year, the N.C. Division of Air Quality invites seventh-grade students to participate in the AQ-IQ Contest. The AQ-IQ Contest gives students a chance to create a project that highlights an air quality issue and provides a solution to that issue. The AQ-IQ Contest links closely with the NC Essential Standards and puts the student in the role of presenting the information, which is one of the most effective ways to learn. For details about the contest, how to participate and project closing date visit: AQ-IQ Contest

Teacher Workshops

Periodically during the year N.C. Air Awareness offers teacher workshops. The goal of these free workshops is to make teachers familiar with the properties of air, what air pollution is, how each of us contributes to air pollution, and K-12 air quality education activities currently available. We try to reach this goal through a combination of hands-on activities, presentation materials, videos and games. Workshops may have the opportunity for Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credit and Criteria I Credit for the North Carolina Environmental Education Certificate. Email us at to set up an event in your area or find out about air quality education workshops