This video explains the important role that trees play in capturing carbon and halting climate change.
Students will learn about tree-planting activists, the importance of protecting existing forests, and the potential for using synthetic biology to help trees sequester even more carbon.
The video does a good job of explaining why we will need to reduce our carbon emissions while also protecting all the existing trees and replanting as many trees as possible.
There are great animations and images to help support the material.
This video contains advertisements.
Biology classes could discuss why RuBisCo has not evolved to be more efficient like other molecular enzymes. Students could debate whether scientists should try to manipulate RuBisCo so that it is more productive.
Science classes or environmental clubs could organize a tree-planting day for the community and use this interactive resource from the Nature Conservancy to see which neighborhoods would benefit most from having more trees.
This PBS video highlights an important aspect of climate science policy. Trees are often touted as the only solution to climate change and, unfortunately, the math does not work out on this one; we do not have enough space for trees to compensate for the total amount of carbon emissions we currently put into the atmosphere. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS2: Earth's Systems
HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
HS-ESS2-6 Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
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.
LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
HS-LS1-5 Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy.
HS-LS1-6 Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for how carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from sugar molecules may combine with other elements to form amino acids and/or other large carbon-based molecules.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
D4.7.6-8 Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.