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Uptake of Carbon Dioxide from Water by Plants

IFM-GEOMAR S. Soria-Dengg, Carboschools (EU)

Two simple experiments/demonstrations show the role of plants in mitigating the acidification caused when CO2 is dissolved in water.

Each experiment and demonstration set takes about 20 minutes. Additional supplies are necessary and are listed in the activity.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Experiment would work well as a supplement to a lesson on the carbon cycle, photosynthesis, and ocean acidification.
  • Instructors could use narrow-range (~pH 3-8) pH strips to substitute for the pH meter in the second experiment if a pH meter is not available. Though, it should be noted, this may be less accurate and detailed than the pH meter would be.

About the Content

  • Experiment shows important processes of ocean acidification and demonstrates photosynthesis.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This activity is aimed at seconday/early high school students and provides an accurate model of the role of plants and phytoplankton in the world's oceans.

About the Pedagogy

  • Well-described experiment set up with lots of pictures to show what the experiment looks like.
  • Scaffolding around experiment needs to be provided by educator to ensure the learning outcomes.
  • While images are nice to illustrate changes that should be seen during the experiment, the instructor may consider removing them from the student handout so as not to give away any changes the students will see over the course of the experiment.
  • Incorporates life science into climate change discussion.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Well-described experiment with complete lists of necessary materials.
Entered the Collection: January 2013 Last Reviewed: November 2016

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