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Climate Status Investigations
Department of Energy
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Curriculum Grid
Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five | Day Six | Day Seven | Day Eight | Day Nine | Day ten
Day Two Day 2:

The Great Climate Change Debate (Language Arts)
Too Cool For School (Science)
Personal Emissions Calculator (Math)
Population Growth (Social Studies)
What Do You Need? (Extension Activity)
Climate Status Investigations


The Great Climate Change Debate
Explores the origins of global climate change

Too Cool for School
Examines the effects of a greenhouse

Personal Emissions Calculator
Calculates personal emission based on daily habits

Population Growth
Shows exponential increase in population and GHGs

What Do You Need?
Introduces concept of needs vs. wants

Day 2 - Quick View
On the second day, students begin to understand different sides of the climate change debate.  They conduct science labs to better understand how scientists measure the climatic record through ice cores. Students calculate their own personal carbon dioxide emissions and learn how their own actions influence the environment. They then engage in an activity to understand and defend the points of view of different stakeholders in the community.

The Great Debate - Students will use a debate format to understand the reasons for the controversy over climate change and reach their own conclusions about whether it is caused by human action or natural causes.  Students learn to develop persuasive arguments, practice public speaking skills, and read and analyze technical information.  They also develop a rationale for their beliefs about the cause of climate change.

Too Cool for School: The Greenhouse Effect - Students create a model greenhouse and measure temperature changes. They learn how trace gases, including water vapor and carbon dioxide act to trap radiation and help warm the planet. Discussion about how a greenhouse works, as well as the usefulness of models in understanding phenomena. Teachers can talk about the "Goldilocks Principle" where Mars has too thin an atmosphere and is too cold, Venus has too thick an atmosphere, and it too hot, while Earth is just right.

Personal Emissions Calculator - In this activity, students understand their contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, based on their daily routine. Students learn the concept of a carbon footprint. Students build a personal emissions calculator, using a global warming wheel card developed by the EPA.  Students gather and evaluate information on their daily habits to determine their personal contribution to greenhouse emissions.

Population Growth - Students view a video that shows world population growth from the beginning of Earth to predictions up to the year 2050. Students discuss and calculate future population growth, increased demand for energy, and potential growth of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, if existing fossil fuels are used the same way they are used today.  As an activity extension, students can also plot greenhouse gas emissions under different scenarios, including the use of FutureGen-type advanced coal plants, or combinations of different fuel types.

What Do You Need? Material World -Students view a slideshow of various countries, with different people from different cultures standing outside of their domiciles with the full complement of their worldly possessions.  This enhances student comprehension about different levels of consumption around the world.  Students discuss the difference between "needs" and "wants." Class discussion can focus on access to economic opportunities, and efforts by developed countries to share wealth through donations and loans. This exercise helps teach the importance of economics, as well as aspects of global so
cial equity.

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