Submitted by Becca Hatheway on August 6, 2015 - 3:42pm

Now that the plants in our ozone gardens are growing and have begun to show signs of ozone damage, we’ve been piloting our new data collection sheets with teachers, scientists, and summer camp groups.

A group of Colorado middle and high school science teachers were the first to use the data collection sheets earlier this summer. The teachers just completed a year-long professional development program called AirWaterGas. After taking three online courses during the school year, they spent the month of July with us in Boulder. During that time they 1) worked with researchers and educators from the University of Colorado Boulder and UCAR/NCAR to learn more about oil and gas development and how it impacts the Earth system, and 2) used their new knowledge to develop engaging classroom activities to share with their students this fall.

These teachers were the perfect choice to be the first people to test out making observations in one of our gardens. Some of them are developing classroom activities about air quality and ground-level ozone, and a few are planning to plant ozone gardens at their schools. After getting a tour of the two gardens at NCAR and learning how some plants show visible signs of ozone damage, they checked out the plants, recorded their observations, and discussed how to use the data collection sheets with students.

In a few months the curriculum the teachers developed will be posted on our website and we’ll post an update in this blog. Stay tuned!

Two science teachers, Trey Griffin and Sharon Feather, learn how to identify ozone damage on plants from Danica Lombardozzi, a scientist at NCAR.
Credit: Becca Hatheway/UCAR

Here's an example of one of the data collection sheets we use to record observations of ozone damage on plants in the ozone gardens.
Credit: Becca Hatheway/UCAR