AIR QUALITY AWARENESS WEEK
RESOURCE TOOLKIT FOR AMERICAN SPACES
This Resource Toolkit is designed for programming at American Spaces to create a greater awareness of the importance of air quality on human health and resources to monitor air quality.
Compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this 87-page PDF consists of a variety of lesson plans including Health Symptom Scenarios, Tracking Air Quality, and Smog Alert.
A database of Environmental Protection Agency-approved lesson plans
WHAT IS AIR QUALITY AWARENESS WEEK?
The first week of May of every year, several U.S. government agencies, including the U.S. Department of State and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) observe Air Quality Awareness Week (AQAW). The goal is to promote events that increase air quality awareness and encourage people to take action and incorporate knowledge of the Air Quality Index (AQI) into their daily living.
Each day will feature a different topic:
- Monday — Wildfires & Smoke
- Tuesday — Asthma & Your Health
- Wednesday — Citizen Science & Sensors
- Thursday — Environmental Justice Communities & Air Quality
- Friday — Air Quality Around the World
ZephAir – Smartphone app that provides real-time information from AirNow.
American Spaces Toolkits
- Learn how air quality improved these cities
- Once smog-shrouded, LA has improved its air
- New U.S. Air Quality app helps users avoid pollution
- U.S. air quality monitoring protects people worldwide
- Breathe easy- Air quality monitoring goes local
- Is your air safe to breathe?
- A garden path above Manhattan and other clean air hacks
- This is what dirty air does to your body
- Can sister cities Chicago and New Delhi clean the air?
AIR QUALITY INDEX (AQI)
The Air Quality Index uses hourly data collecting systems to track five major air pollutants. Based on the levels of these pollutants, a value is assigned assessing nearby air quality on a zero to 500 scale with 50 and below representing good air quality. Learn more here.
U.S. embassies and consulates abroad track AQI internationally. As seen in the image above, this interactive map reports data similar to the national tracker. To see the AQI closest to your American Space, use this link! You can also download the ZephAir app to access the information on your smartphone.
FILMS AND VIDEOS
Saving My Tomorrow – Kids Who Love the Earth*: From HBO and the American Museum of Natural History, this documentary available on Kanopy provides a collection of songs, activism, and tips for protecting the earth. Children share their thoughts on subjects ranging from endangered animals and pollution to climate change.
Love Thy Nature*: Narrated by Liam Neeson, this film interviews a wide range of scientists who break down current environmental issues and what future solutions are needed.
A Smog Vacuum Cleaner and Other Magical City Designs – This 12-minute TED Talk features creative innovator Daan Roosegaarde, who developed a smog vacuum cleaner to purify the air in local parks.
*These films are available in Kanopy, accessible through eLibraryUSA. They can be screened at American Spaces through our agreement with eLibraryUSA. American Spaces can also screen these films online in closed platforms.
The views expressed in these links and resources do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. government.
Updated January 2024