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Gapminder: Unveiling the beauty of statistics for a fact based world view.


In this interactive simulation, students can explore global CO2 emissions displayed by different continents/countries and plotted based on the GDP. A map view is also accessible.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 1 Cross Cutting Concept, 5 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 1 Performance Expectation, 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice

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

  • This tool can be used in science classes, history classes, and economics classes.
  • The map tool allows students to access the data from another view than just by looking at the graph interface.
  • Simulation allows educator to explore the contribution to increased CO2 concentration and contrast it to the countries who will suffer the most from a changing climate.
  • Start: have students explore the animation and ask questions what animation shows.
  • Great opportunity for students to explore, potential for feeling overwhelmed by data and information, careful scaffolding will help for first few explorations of data sets.
  • Wrap up lesson: Show one of Hans Rosling's TED talks.
  • Science teachers could use this to provoke students' thinking, disrupt notions, bust myths.
  • Lots of other data given on Y-axis.

About the Science

  • A statistical imaging tool for multiple data sets, including cumulative CO2 emissions in metric tons and CO2 intensity of economic output kg CO2 per 2005 PPP $ of GDP
  • Reference to data sources given.
  • Comments from expert scientist: A nice visual display of CO2 data. This data can be plotted against many other societal metrics. The plotting of the CO2 data is informative in that it is nicely scaled to illustrate emissions per capita/country. Emissions data is available for many different countries. Just a little out of date; most recent year for CO2 emissions is 2011.

About the Pedagogy

  • Has a link for educators to view how others are using Gapminder in their teaching (video tutorial).
  • If student audience is diverse with different nationalities, students will likely be very interested in engaging in the exploration of data by looking at their and other home countries.
  • Statistics presented in a visually appealing and engaging way.
  • Many variables - scaffolding is required.
  • Viewer could miss a lot if not all the pieces presented in this animation are shown.
  • PDF-guide for teachers is available.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Excellent quality

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

Middle School

Performance Expectations: 1

MS-ESS3-4: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

MS-ESS3.C2:Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise.

MS-ESS3.D:Global Climate Change

Cross Cutting Concepts: 1


MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

Science and Engineering Practices: 5

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.

MS-P4.2:Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.

MS-P4.3: Distinguish between causal and correlational relationships in data.

MS-P4.6:Consider limitations of data analysis (e.g., measurement error), and/or seek to improve precision and accuracy of data with better technological tools and methods (e.g., multiple trials).

MS-P4.7:Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings.

High School

Performance Expectations: 1

HS-ESS3-2: Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

HS-ESS3.A1:Resource availability has guided the development of human society.

HS-ESS3.A2:All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.

HS-ESS3.D1:Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2


HS-C1.4:Mathematical representations are needed to identify some patterns

HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

HS-P4.3:Consider limitations of data analysis (e.g., measurement error, sample selection) when analyzing and interpreting data

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