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Crash Course


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Health

Resource Type

  • Videos, 9 minutes, 21 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



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  • This detailed video highlights many types of pollution and the effects of that pollution on human health and the environment. 
  • It spans from the simplest piece of litter to natural and synthetic chemical compounds and the pollutants from mining and burning fossil fuels.
Teaching Tips


  • The video's narrator uses humor and engaging examples to make this video enjoyable and its complex topics easier to comprehend. 
  • This resource contains a table of contents for easily finding information within the video and also includes a link for resources. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • This video is fast-paced, so it may be helpful to periodically pause the video to ensure students are keeping up with the information presented. 
  • Conversations around pollution and human health may be difficult for some students, particularly if their families have been impacted, so teachers should prepare for how to emotionally support students while delving into these topics. 


  • Science classes could research one specific type of pollution, describing the ways that it is disturbing ecosystems and human health. 
  • Consider having students view this TED-Ed video about the carbon cycle and then engaging in conversations about why disrupting the carbon cycle is so detrimental to the Earth. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this Khan Academy resource about pollution and human health and this Climate Reality Project video about how fossil fuel industries are polluting the air, soil, and water with toxic chemicals. 
Scientist Notes
The effects of pollution on ecosystems are highlighted in this video. There are many different types of pollution, from tiny visible solid wastes to unseen poisonous gases. They are harmful to our health and the environment and are brought on by human activity. This resource is recommended for use in the classroom.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • HS-LS4-5 Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.12.9-12 Analyze how people use and challenge local, state, national, and international laws to address a variety of public issues.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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