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As we have seen, the ozone layer in the stratosphere is a vital layer of protection for the Earth. This layer that contains most of the atmosphere’s ozone is far above the air that we breathe every day, and even above the altitude where most airplanes fly. However, when ozone forms near the surface in the troposphere, where humans breathe, it is an air pollutant that can harm our lungs and the natural environment. This tropospheric ozone is the same molecule as in the stratosphere. However, in the troposphere, ozone forms in very different ways than in the stratosphere. We’ll learn more about tropospheric ozone and other air pollutants in Lesson Five.

Additional resources

More information about good and bad ozone can be found at http://www.epa.gov/airnow/gooduphigh - a booklet by the EPA called Good Up High, Bad Nearby. Other great resources regarding ozone can be found at:

  1. http://www.epa.gov/ozone/strathome.html.
  2. http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/Earth/Atmosphere/ozone_overview.html&edu=mid
  3. http://www.clean-air-kids.org.uk/ozonehole.html
  4. Comic strip from US EPA illustrating the two types of ozone: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/sciencem /missoz/index.html.


  • ozone
  • ozone layer
  • ultraviolet rays
  • Antarctic ozone hole
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Montreal Protocol
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Tropospheric ozone
  • Stratospheric ozone

Materials (for a class of 25)

  • Hygrometer (1 per class)
  • Infrared Thermometer (1 per class)
  • Ozone Test Strips (1 per class)
  • Ozone Scanner (1 per class)
  • Wind Vane (1 per class)
  • Thermal Glove (1 per class)
  • Cloud Charts (1 per class)
  • GLOBE Measurement Data Sheets (1 per student)
  • Computer
  • Access to Brainpop.com
  • Projection screen

Step-by-step suggested lesson plan

Instructor Activity Student Activity
Measurements. Take your students outside and conduct the GLOBE protocols. Students should set up the ozone strip, take the air and surface temperature, observe the sky for clouds, and measure humidity and wind direction. Students take measurements and write down their results on their data sheets.
Discussion. Ask students to think of examples of things that are good in one location, but bad somewhere else (e.g., a lion in a zoo, the flame of a candle, etc.). Explain that ozone is a gas that is “Good Up High, Bad Nearby”: up high it shields Earth from radiation, but nearby it is harmful to breathe. (See “Background Information” for details and links to resources). Students participate in brainstorming and answer related questions on p. 1.
Video. “Ozone Layer” on Brainpop.com provides a good overview of stratospheric ozone. Students watch video and answer related questions (p. 2)
Discussion: Go into more detail about “good” stratospheric ozone. Ex: How ozone is formed, where the layer can be found, and how it protects our health from UV rays. Students listen and answer questions: (p. 3)
Visual. Show students a picture of the ozone hole. Explain that the hole occurs over Antarctica each September, and that the Montreal Protocol has banned some of the air pollutants (CFCs) that cause it. Students listen and answer question: (p.3)
Measurements. Take your class outside, and scan the ozone strip. Also, retake the surface and air temperature, and the humidity so that students can take the average of these measurements to supplement their ozone measurements. Students take measurements and write down their results on their data sheets.

Expected outcomes

  1. Students can explain the “dual” nature of ozone – it can act as both a major air pollutant and as a layer of protection for the Earth.
  2. Students can define stratospheric ozone, know how it is formed, and know the causes and effects of ozone depletion.
  3. Students complete Lesson Four Journal Activities.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Rice air curriculum. OpenStax CNX. May 09, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11200/1.1
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