King's Centre for Visualization in Science
Activity takes about two 50-minute class periods.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 3 Performance Expectations, 6 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 9 Cross Cutting Concepts, 5 Science and Engineering Practices
About Teaching Climate Literacy
7.6 Vulnerable populations.
5.1 Energy decisions are made at many levels.
6.5 Social and technological innovation.
6.6 Behavior and design.
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Lesson has two powerful applets - carbon footprint and stabilization wedges - that greatly enhance the learning experience. Educator should become familiar with them prior to implementation and also review the equations and calculations as a prerequisite to starting lesson.
- See the other eight lessons in this module at http://www.explainingclimatechange.ca/Climate%20Change/Lessons/lessons.html
- See Stabilization Wedges Game in the CLEAN collection https://cleanet.org/resources/41709.html
- Educator could show students current changes in energy produced by photovoltaic solar technology http://www.earth-policy.org/indicators/C47/solar_power_2013, as it nearly doubled from 2010 to 2012.
About the Science
- The opening carbon footprint learning tool allows users to change CO2 emission around the world. Users are then able to run a model to visually examine how these CO2 emissions impact carbon levels in the ocean, the atmosphere, the biosphere, and the soil.
- In the carbon stabilization wedge learning tool, users are able to visualize how altering lifestyles and increasing alternative energy sources can reduce emissions.
- No sources are provided for the data used to develop these learning tools.
- Comments from expert scientist: It is a very good outline of the role of carbon-dioxide in the climate system, and organizes ways to mitigate the carbon footprint. I liked the CO2 footprint and Carbon stabilization learning tools in general, as they provide a hands-on approach to the issues involved.
About the Pedagogy
- This resource does a great job at encouraging students that there are solutions to help mitigate the effects of climate change and to reduce GHG emissions.
- Questions posed throughout the lesson encourage students to think critically about potential solutions and difficulties in implementing those solutions.
- Two learning tools or applets - carbon footprint and stabilization wedges - engage students in how their choices impact the climate system.
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:
Performance Expectations: 3
HS-ESS3-2: Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
HS-ESS3-4: Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
HS-ESS3-5: Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 6
HS-ESS2.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.
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.B1:Natural hazards and other geologic events have shaped the course of human history; [they] have significantly altered the sizes of human populations and have driven human migrations.
HS-ESS3.C2:Scientists and engineers can make major contributions by developing technologies that produce less pollution and waste and that preclude ecosystem degradation.
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.
HS-ESS3.D2:Through computer simulations and other studies, important discoveries are still being made about how the ocean, the atmosphere, and the biosphere interact and are modified in response to human activities.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 9
HS-C1.2:Classifications or explanations used at one scale may fail or need revision when information from smaller or larger scales is introduced; thus requiring improved investigations and experiments.
HS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system.
HS-C3.5:Algebraic thinking is used to examine scientific data and predict the effect of a change in one variable on another (e.g., linear growth vs. exponential growth).
HS-C4.4:Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models.
HS-C5.2:Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.
HS-C5.4: Energy drives the cycling of matter within and between systems.
HS-C6.1:Investigating or designing new systems or structures requires a detailed examination of the properties of different materials, the structures of different components, and connections of components to reveal its function and/or solve a problem.
HS-C7.1:Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.
HS-C7.4:Systems can be designed for greater or lesser stability.
Science and Engineering Practices: 5
HS-P3.5:Make directional hypotheses that specify what happens to a dependent variable when an independent variable is manipulated.
HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.
HS-P5.2:Use mathematical, computational, and/or algorithmic representations of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations.
HS-P6.3:Apply scientific ideas, principles, and/or evidence to provide an explanation of phenomena and solve design problems, taking into account possible unanticipated effects.
HS-P7.1:Compare and evaluate competing arguments or design solutions in light of currently accepted explanations, new evidence, limitations (e.g., trade-offs), constraints, and ethical issues