The Ozone Hole

Website review by
Michelle Kitt, Common Sense Media
The Ozone Hole Website Poster Image
Mediocre design buries useful ozone layer facts.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn how human and natural factors affect the ozone layer's ability to protect life on Earth. Current and historical data show the progression of the ozone hole over Antarctica from the 1980s to today and its behavior month-to-month in any particular year. Kids can also learn about the Montreal Protocol, a landmark agreement among countries around the world to stop using gases that harm the ozone layer. There's no interactivity on the site, but the information can be a jumping-off point for creative activities offline.

Positive Messages

The site highlights the role of science, history, cooperation, and responsibility in protecting the planet.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Ozone Hole uses images, data, and videos from reliable sources like NASA, NOAA, and the Royal British Astronomical Society to educate the public about the ozone layer, climate, and the environment. The Ozone Hole is produced by The Ozone Hole, Inc. -- a nonprofit organization. Descriptions can be technical, but videos and images are appropriate for middle school kids and up. There is a staggering amount of information; approach the site with specific questions like "What is the ozone layer?" or "Why was the ozone hole so big in 2006?" or "What gases harm the ozone layer?" and use the site map to explore one concept at a time.

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What's it about?

THE OZONE HOLE separates its content into sections: News, Links, Ozone Hole History, Ozone Hole 2006, Ozone Hole 2012, Montreal Protocol, and Arctic Ozone Hole. Kids can either click one of these sections at the top, or click Site Map where things are more organized. Kids will scroll through each section for stuff to read, images to look at, and often videos to watch. There’s a link to The Ozone Hole’s active Facebook page that has material not found on the website.

Is it any good?

The Ozone Hole approaches issues affecting earth’s ozone layer in a balanced way, rooted in science and covering human-made and natural phenomena. It’s a reference site so don’t expect games or activities, and it suffers from unfortunate long-scrolling and inconsistent design. Still, there are a few good nuggets worth the trip way, way down the page. Plenty of colorful, straightforward images and a video on the main page tell the story for young kids who don’t understand the technical stuff. There’s also special emphasis on the Montreal Protocol, described by Kofi Annan, Former Secretary General of the United Nations as "the single most successful international agreement to date."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • The Montreal Protocol is one example of dozens of international agreements to protect the environment. Find out about other agreements that protect animals, fisheries, oceans, water, forests, land, mining, and more.

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