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4th- What are fossil fuels and how are they formed?

Several days during the year, the quality of air in the El Paso area is unhealthy. The major cause is the use of fossil fuels for transportation, production, and industry. The teachers implemented lessons for their students to develop a basic understanding of the sources of these fossil fuels, how they are used, and why they contribute to air pollution. With this understanding, the students developed strategies to decrease fossil-fuel air pollution around their school and created information sessions to present at the PTA meeting.

Teachers: Lacey Bustamante, Ronnie Allen, Amy Canales

Major Concepts:

  • Fossil fuels were formed millions of years ago as heat and pressured chemically changed decayed plants and animals into coal, petroleum, and natural gas.
  • Fossil fuels are carbon-based compounds. Burning any carbon-based compound releases pollutants—visible and invisible-- into the air.
  • Human use of these fossil fuels for energy in their homes, industry, and for transportation affects air quality.
  • Air pollution from using fossil fuels causes increases in respiratory problems such as asthma.

4th Introduction

4th Background Information

4th Inquiry Activities