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Resource Language:


Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States

Geoengineering, Explained

Author: Grist
Grades: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering
Format: YouTube Video
Resource Type:
  • Video, 4 minutes, 41 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • This video from Grist explains geoengineering, specifically solar geoengineering, and uses metaphors and visual representations to explain the potential benefits, dangers, and unknowns of geoengineering. 
Teaching Tips


  • It uses easy-to-understand demonstrations, including a geoengineering simulator and a poor-tasting lemonade demonstration.
  • It is under five minutes but still gives students a clear understanding of what geoengineering is, why it might be a problem, and why we still might need to study and implement it.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There are bleeped-out swear words at the end of the video.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of fossil fuels and the greenhouse effect.


Scientist Notes
Geoengineering has become an even more popular idea since the production of this resource in 2019. While the physical science behind the idea would work, this video correctly highlights the inherent risk of geoengineering. In particular, some studies that model what geoengineering would do to planetary circulation show that it would shut down major weather patterns, such as the Asian monsoon season. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • 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-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
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  • This is a great video that explained things clearly for my students. I used this with my 6th graders to introduce them to geoengineering before they did their own independent and guided research.
    6 months ago