In a world of increasing energy demand, climate change, and a global pandemic, air quality education is more important than ever. The Kentucky Division for Air Quality not only works with facilities to regulate air pollution in the state but also provides significant education and outreach programs to environmental educators and community groups. The programs cover air pollution sources and solutions and focus heavily on the social science aspect of air pollution. They strive to highlight the ways in which every-day individual choices affect Kentucky’s air quality. For example, some topics include illegal versus legal trash burning along with simple choices such as leaving your car running at your kid’s school pick up line.
The head of the division’s education and outreach, Roberta Burnes, served on KAEE’s board for several years and is now focusing her efforts on adapting to the new, virtual world. In the past, Burnes has always conducted educational trainings in-person and worked with students directly to develop student-led idle reduction programs. Now, Burnes is working to transition all educational materials and programs into a virtual format while ensuring accessibility to all students and educators. As Burnes hopes to return to in-person outreach next fall, she is currently focusing on making the virtual streaming programs accessible and effective for K-12 education.
So far, Burnes has completed one virtual streaming lesson and feels confident in continuing the virtual formats in 2021. Burnes has also created virtual lesson plans, a story map, and activities for educators and is working to add more to the list. To check them out and explore more about the division’s education efforts, visit their website:
If you are interested in integrating a lesson from the division into your classroom, contact Roberta Burnes today at, Roberta.firstname.lastname@example.org.