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Atmosphere Design Lab

Smithsonian: Forces of Change

This interactive exposes students to Earth's atmospheric gases of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and ozone. As the user manipulates the interactive to increase or decrease the concentration of each gas, explanations and images are provided that explain and visualize what the Earth would be like in each scenario.

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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

  • Educator could divide class into gas teams to explore each one of these scenarios, then report back to the rest of the class.
  • Combine interactive with other resources on the site to support a deeper understanding of the content.

About the Science

  • A simple informational interactive that describes the important properties and characteristics of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and ozone.
  • Gives a cursory explanation of the greenhouse effect and elements of the carbon cycle.
  • NOTE: The stated present level of CO2 is incorrect. For the current CO2 level see: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
  • Comments from expert scientist: There is only little science in this presentation, which is probably appropriate for a broad audience. The comparison with Mars and Venus is good because it suggests that we understand quite well that CO2 is an important factor in setting the temperature. What's more, that suggestion reflects the truth. The last two illustrations ("where does O2 come from" and the "elixir of life") under "oxygen" are excellent.

About the Pedagogy

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Clean and concise in its execution.

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