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Global Warming Webquest
https://koshland-science-museum.org/explore/global-warming-webquest-teachers-section

Marian Koshland Science Museum - National Academy of Sciences

In this Webquest activity, students assume roles of scientist, business leader, or policy maker. The students then collaborate as part of a climate action team and learn how society and the environment might be impacted by global warming. They explore the decision making process regarding issues of climate change, energy use, and available policy options. Student teams investigate how and why climate is changing and how humans may have contributed to these changes. Upon completion of their individual tasks, student teams present their findings and make recommendations that address the situation.

This activity stretches over several weeks. Some pieces could be used as shorter stand-alone activities. Computer access is necessary.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

ans can take actions to reduce climate change and its impacts.
About Teaching Principle H
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man activities are impacting the climate system
About Teaching Principle H
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mate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives
About Teaching Principle C
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Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
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Energy affects quality of life .
Humans transport energy from place to place.
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4.4 Humans transport energy.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
Energy decisions are influenced by environmental factors.
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5.6 Environmental factors.
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Energy decisions are influenced by several factors.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

4. Personal and Civic Responsibility:B) Recognizing citizens' rightrs and responsiblities
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B) Recognizing citizens' rightrs and responsiblities.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:A) Human/environment interactions
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A) Human/environment interactions.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:C) Resources
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C) Resources.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:D) Technology
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D) Technology.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:B) Sorting out the consequences of issues
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B) Sorting out the consequences of issues.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action
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C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.2 Decision-Making and Citizenship Skills:A) Forming and evaluating personal views
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A) Forming and evaluating personal views.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

The global environment is affected by national and international policies and practices relating to energy use, waste disposal, ecological management, manufacturing, and population.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
Different ways of obtaining, transforming, and distributing energy have different environmental consequences.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Need to guide student groups to make sure that they maintain a critical eye on the material they are examining.
  • Because the activity links to so many external sites, it will be useful for the educator to make sure the links important for their students are working.

About the Science

  • The activity links to the scenarios from IPCC 2001. Educator may want to point students to a more recent version. The 2007 version is here: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/mains3.html.
  • Activity forms a good connection to real world policies.
  • Comment from expert scientist: In this activity, assumptions are, in some cases, not aligned with scientific consensus and are not supported by citation or annotation: e.g. the http://www.koshland-science-museum.org/exhibitgcc/impacts02.jsp claims sea level rise is expected to be from several inches to nearly three feet by the year 2100, whereas the IPCC Working Group 1 2007 states that sea level rise is expected to reach 0.18-0.59 metres by the mid-2090s. There are instances in the activity where the language used does not exemplify good scientific practice by failing to critically assess data: e.g. Other surface temperature data sets differ somewhat from those shown here, but in all of them the modern temperatures are generally greater than during the past several hundred years.

About the Pedagogy

  • This is a reading-based activity where students are pointed to a number of online resources. The educator will need to make sure students stay on task given the breadth of material.
  • The role-playing aspect of this exercise provides potential for fun and peer learning and will address different types of learners.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • There is potential (as in most Webquests) for students to get lost in the abundance of material. It also carries the additional problem that it is easy to assume that all web resources are equally credible. Most of the websites referenced here are reputable.

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