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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 Six

Day 6:

Writing a Research Question (Language Arts)
Trapping CO2 (Science)
Watt's Up? (Math)
Economics of Emissions Trading (Social Studies)
Which One Matters? (Extension Activity)

emissions trading

Writing a Research Question

Connects causes of climate change to local community

Trapping CO2
Investigates the differences between CO2 & Air

Watt's Up
Illustrates the efficiency of different types of lighting

Economics and Emissions Trading
Demonstrates the intricacies of emissions credit trading

Which One Matters?
Explores how changing the balance can impact the ecosystem

Day 6 - Quick View
On Day 6, Students reexamine their previous work on possible causes of climate change, and engage in activities that enhance their ability to think critically by creating research questions. Students engage in an activity to determine the different efficiency of different types of lighting. Students continue their examination of electricity by looking at different electric utilities and discussing the various sources of power, including fossil, nuclear, and renewables.

Research Question - Students review information from a concept map to identify possible causes of greenhouse gas emissions and choose one factor on which to focus their research.  The research question to be investigated can be generated as a class question or as a smaller group or individual problem.  Students learn to construct a hypothesis, and to determine known facts and unknown issues to be researched.

Trapping CO2 (Carbon Capture) - Students will understand the properties of carbon dioxide and how to capture it. In this activity, they create a CO2 "generator" with baking soda and vinegar. Through a variety of experiments, students understand the chemical properties of CO2 and the difference between CO2 and air. Students also begin to understand how CO2 can be trapped, by capturing it in a jar.

Watts-Up: Introduction to Data Collection Instruments - In this exercise, students learn about 'hard science' or scientific data collection.  Using a heat gun, students test the efficiency of different types of lighting in relationship to cost and light output.   As a follow up activity, students can examine their own home electric bill, and can design and implement an experiment to reduce their electricity use.

Which One Matters? - Students play a game of Jenga® where different levels of the tower represent plants, herbivores, carnivores, and top carnivores to understand the balance necessary to maintain ecosystems and how changing that balance can impact the ecosystem. Students will identify and discuss the need for balance in any ecosystem.  Students will then identify potential changes to different ecosystems (e.g., desert, mountain, marine) under climate change scenarios, and discuss how greenhouse gases may impact those ecosystems, potentially pushing them out of balance.

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