What’s Going On in This Graph? | Feb. 24, 2021

What’s Going On in This Graph? | Feb. 24, 2021

Note: We will not be hosting a live-moderated “What’s Going On in This Picture?” discussion on Feb. 17.

These graphs show the air quality for twelve major world cities from November 2018 to November 2019. The key for the amount of air pollution uses both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality index and the PM2.5 concentration (airborne particulate matter suspended in air that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers — more than 100 times thinner than a human hair). Much of this pollution is from burning things: coal in power plants, gasoline in vehicles, chemicals in industry, and wildfires.

After looking closely at the graph above (or at this full-size image), answer these four questions:

  • What do you notice?

  • What do you wonder?

The questions are intended to build on one another, so try to answer them in order.

2. Next, join the conversation online by clicking on the comment button and posting in the box. (Teachers of students younger than 13 are welcome to post their students’ responses.)

3. Below the response box, there is an option for students to click on “Email me when my comment is published.” This sends the link to their response which they can share with their teacher.

4. After you have posted, read what others have said, then respond to someone else by posting a comment. Use the “Reply” button to address that student directly.

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, teachers from our collaborator, the American Statistical Association, will facilitate this discussion from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time.

5. By Friday morning, Feb. 26, we will reveal more information about the graph, including a free link to the article that included this graph, at the bottom of this post. We encourage you to post additional comments based on the article, possibly using statistical terms defined in the Stat Nuggets.

We’ll post more information here on the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 25. Stay tuned!


See all graphs in this series or a slide show of 60 of our favorite graphs.

View our archives that link to all past releases, organized by topic, graph type and Stat Nugget.

Learn more about the “Notice and Wonder” teaching strategy and how and why other teachers are using this feature from our on-demand webinar.

Sign up for our free weekly Learning Network newsletter so you never miss a graph. Graphs are always released by the Friday before the Wednesday live-moderation to give teachers time to plan ahead.

Go to the American Statistical Association K-12 website, which includes teacher statistics resources, professional development opportunities, and more.

Students 13 and older in the United States and the United Kingdom, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.