Member States of the UN were invited to devote this day, each year, to activities that promote the objectives of the Montreal Protocol and to create awareness of issues relating to climate change and ozone depletion.
The ozone layer is a layer of gas in the stratosphere that encircles and shields the Earth from much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun. Its existence both protects and preserves life on earth.
Now an everyday expression in environmental discussions, the ozone layer become prevalent in the public perception when it became evident that certain chemicals corrode its composition. The manmade chemicals, called chlorofluorocarbons, used in everyday applications, such as refrigeration, air conditioning and aerosols, penetrate the stratosphere and courtesy of some complex chemical reactions, erode the ozone. Doubly dangerous, ozone depleting substances are also powerful greenhouse gases.
As such, protecting the ozone layer from harmful substances is of paramount importance. Over the years, the UN have implemented a gradual phasing out of the use of ozone-depleting chemicals, working to protect the ozone layer for this and future generations. These significant global efforts to address climate change have helped to protect both human health and ecosystems.
Children need to be aware of ozone depletion and its consequences. Often an open audience and more receptive to the concept of adapting, children should be at the forefront of change. What better place to foster enhanced environmental awareness than in the classroom?
On International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, classroom activities can reinforce knowledge and understanding of the issues. Educational packages from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have been specifically tailored to address topics about the Earth’s ozone layer. Children can watch Ozzy Ozone and Alberta the Albatross take a voyage of discovery to uncover exactly who and what is attacking the ozone layer and to learn how they can play an important role in making a difference.
A Solar Furnace is an effective piece of classroom equipment. It helps to demonstrate the extraordinary power of the sun by concentrating solar energy using a parabolic dish. Using its reflective mirror, the furnace can generate extreme temperatures to heat materials placed in the attached copper receptacle. It aptly demonstrates the power of the sun, reinforcing the importance of the ozone layer in protecting the planet.
From learning to practice ‘safe sun’ behaviour to disseminating information to their parents and carers, the environmental education of children is seen as the basis for a sustainable human society. In addition to schools, community groups, individuals and local organisations can get involved by helping to promote ozone-friendly products or by staging special awareness events.
Contact Edulab today for a wide range of products that help to enhance students’ understanding of the environment through practical experiments.