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Database Provider

Authors

TERC, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College (SERC)

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Assessment
  • Interactive Media
  • Video, 5 minutes, 23 seconds, CC
  • Video, 7 minutes, 33 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Article

Regional Focus

Global

Slowing Down an Amplifying Greenhouse Effect Lab

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Synopsis
  • In this two-part lab, students will learn about the pros and cons of technologies designed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 
  • Topics covered in this lab include using algae as fuel for vehicles and various types of carbon capture or carbon sequestration technologies.

Teaching Tips

Positives:

  • The infographics are colorful and detailed.
  • There are a number of optional extensions provided to extend the lab.

Additional Prerequisites:

  • Access to the Internet is required for this activity.
  • Teachers must sign in to access the key.

Differentiation:

  • Consider assigning some of the videos as homework and then have students work in pairs or groups to discuss the questions.
  • This lab can be used by Engineering classes as an example of technological solutions that can help with a global problem. Consider having students research the carbon-infused cement or algae-based fuels.
  • Science students can research the risks associated with pumping CO2 into the soil to see if they are similar to the risks of fracking, such as more earthquakes or groundwater contamination.
  • Have students design an energy-neutral and ecosystem-friendly means of growing/harvesting algae to use for an alternative fuel.
  • Students can compare the solutions presented to their ranking of solutions on the interactive Project Drawdown table of solutions.
Scientist Notes
The resource is recommended to improve students' research writing skills and presentation of key findings on carbon reduction and removal technology.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's 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
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
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