O: Ozone

Scientists working in the Antarctic have found that large areas of the ozone are thinning due to the amount of CFCs and other chemicals that we use.

Covering an area of around 22 million square kilometres, the hole in the Antarctic ozone in 2006 was a little smaller than in 2003. Measurements made during August and September 2006 at BAS Halley and Rothera Research Stations revealed a 50 per cent reduction on normal ozone levels over the base of the Antarctic Peninsula and the Weddell Sea, and a 20 per cent reduction over the tip of South America and the Falkland Islands. This is good news. But, we need to make sure that we carry on being aware of how we affect the ozone layer, and education is key to this.

Activity for Key Stages 2+

Aims of the lesson: To research and find out about the ozone and the effect that humans are having on the ozone layer. To find out about global warming and decide how we can all help save the planet.

Begin this activity by explaining to the pupils what the ozone layer is.

Download this information sheet on ozone.

Explain that all the harmful chemicals we use have an effect on our planet and it is important for us to stop using them as soon as possible (or limit their use). Next, ask the pupils if they have heard of the phrase ‘global warming’.

Download this information sheet on global warming.

Ask them to find out what causes global warming and what we can do about it. Some of the easiest ways to help reduce global warming are:

  • walking (car fumes contribute dramatically to global warming)
  • turning the heating down and lights off (the consumption of energy is a big factor)
  • creating less rubbish (the incineration of waste is another big factor, as is the gas generated by massive landfills full of rubbish).

Secondary assemblies

These two assemblies for KS3 and 4 explore personal responsibility in the context of global warming and waste management.