Educational Outreach

Rice Air Curriculum

The Cohan Research Group has developed inquiry-based atmospheric science lessons involving 5th grade students in measurements of air pollution and meteorology on their school campuses. The Rice Air Curriculum, funded as the educational outreach component of an NSF CAREER Award, was developed by Dr. Cohan and undergraduate Kavita Venkateswar in consultation with Lauren Topek and Markeshia Ellis of the Houston Independent School District, C. J. Thompson of the Rice Elementary Model Science Lab (REMSL), and Dr. Janice Bordeaux. The curriculum includes age-appropriate ozone and meteorology measurement protocols from the GLOBE Program, along with newly developed atmospheric science lessons directly targeted to TEKS learning objectives. The curriculum was piloted at several HISD elementary schools and by other Houston area teachers trained through REMSL.

In Summer 2012, teacher Remelia Arpino worked with Dr. Cohan to adapt the stratospheric and tropospheric ozone lessons for use in high school Environmental Systems classes. 

The full original 5th grade Rice Air Curriculum, including teacher and student materials and measurement worksheets for seven lessons, can be downloaded from the Connexions digital education library. The new high school lessons for stratospheric and tropospheric ozone are available below. We encourage feedback on these lessons to Dr. Cohan at

Stratospheric Ozone Lesson: Teacher guide

Stratospheric Ozone Lesson: Student worksheets

Tropospheric Ozone Lesson: Teacher guide

Tropospheric Ozone Lesson: Student worksheets

Teacher Training Presentations

 Air Quality and Climate overview for teachers

 GLOBE equipment overview  

General Public Talks

Houston Renewable Energy Group: Role of Renewables in Addressing Air Quality and Climate

NASA Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (AQAST): July 2014 Update

Classroom Connect: Climate and Air Quality in Texas and Beyond

AMS air quality climate talk

Jewish Food Summit: Food and the Environment

Civic Scientist talk to Katy Cinco Ranch High School about climate change and air quality

Climate Change Science talk to American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Climate and Air Pollution overview at University of St. Thomas, September 2015

Rice University CEE departmental seminar, "Solving the Climate Challenge," January 2018

Climate Change: Problems and Solutions, February 2019

Additional Links:

Connexions digital education library

HISD news article about the curriculum initiative

Rice at Large article about fifth-grade outreach (see p. 6)

Blog of students using curriculum  

Introduction to Curriculum

Data science resources for climate change

Dr. Daniel Cohan
Associate Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Rice University
6100 Main Street MS 318
Houston, TX 77005

Phone: 713-348-5129
Office: Ryon 209
Email: cohan 'at'