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Author

Clean School Bus Coalition

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Biology, Civics, Health

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, New York City

NYC Neighborhood Air Quality and School Bus Depots

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Synopsis
  • This resource from the NYC Clean School Bus Coalition consists of three interactive maps of New York City neighborhoods that display levels of air pollutants, children's asthma-related emergency room visits, bus depot locations, and demographics. 
  • Each map has multiple layers and base-map options to choose from and neighborhoods can be individually selected to compare all three maps for each selected location.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Each of the three maps presents multiple ways of viewing the data, providing an expansive understanding of each New York City neighborhood.
  • Individual maps can be selected so that classes can focus on one topic at a time.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The map legend and options are not immediately intuitive, so teachers should spend time familiarizing themselves with the options and walk students through them prior to using the maps.
  • For the third map (School Bus Depots Locations in Relation to PEJA), PEJA stands for potential environmental justice area.

Differentiation

  • Advanced science classes could choose three or four neighborhoods to compare using the data from the three maps and then discuss whether or not there are patterns between air quality, numbers of bus depots, asthma, percentage of minority residents, and percentage of population below the poverty level. 
  • Less advanced science classes could select two variables to compare, such as the potential link between the number of bus depots and the number asthma related emergency room visits.
  • Civics and government classes could look at the different political district overlay options and discuss how a group such as the Clean School Bus Coalition might work with or appeal to state senators, state assembly members, city council members, and congresspeople.
  • Other resources on this topic include this Grist video about electric cars, this article by the American Lung Association about particle pollution, this article about asthma in the Bronx, and this video about environmental racism in the Borough.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a web interface that allows users to examine communities within the greater New York City metropolitan area with regard to air pollutants (O3, NO2, PM), emergency room asthma visits, and a metric quantifying poverty and minority population levels. The interface is a little clunky. For instance, the legend for each figure can be found within a pull-down icon found at the upper right of each map. But otherwise it is a good interactive database with data sources cited in the bottom right of each map. I couldn't find a way to follow these sources, but for an interactive website, this resource is sufficient. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Health Education
    • Standard 1: Health Concepts
      • 1.4.9-D Students analyze how one's environment and other factors impact personal health.
  • Social Studies
    • Civics & Government
      • Civics & Government 1 (F2): Students understand the ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in the United States and in the American political system, as well as examples of other forms of government and political systems in the world by explaining how and why democratic institutions and interpretations of democratic ideals and constitutional principles change over time.
      • Civics & Government 1 (D1): Students understand the ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in the United States and in the American political system, as well as examples of other forms of government and political systems in the world by evaluating and comparing the relationship of citizens with government in the United States and other regions of the world.
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