Heating it Up: The Chemistry of the Greenhouse Effect
ExplainingClimateChange.com, King's Centre for Visualization in Science
Instructional sequence will take at least 2 hours to complete.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 8 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 7 Cross Cutting Concepts, 8 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 2 Performance Expectations, 7 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 9 Cross Cutting Concepts, 5 Science and Engineering Practices
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Since the activity is well built and easy to follow, students could complete the activity/material as homework, and classroom time could be used to discuss the visualizations and material.
- Lesson is all-inclusive and packaged well.
- All 9 lessons in this module are included in the CLEAN collection.
About the Science
- The activity provides excellent explanations and visualizations to learn about the chemistry of greenhouse gases and climate change.
- No supporting material is provided, but the scientific scope of the activity is well outlined in the activity.
- Comments from expert scientist:
This resource explains the basic physical science behind climate change. It does so using clear, concise language with good, intuitive examples. Click-through definitions are provided for all jargon and problems are well-conceived and force the reader to pause and think about what they have just learned. It uses up-to-date information and delves into complex concepts such as IR absorption. Overall, I think it is a well-written and constructed resource.
The information presented is very basic, similar to a school textbook, but there are no links or references provided anywhere in the material. While this may be appropriate as a primary government resource, I think the material would be more credible if it linked to other appropriate primary resources.
For example, in Lesson 3, Key Idea 6, the site presents the statement: “Some greenhouse gases have increased in the last two hundred years due to human activities.” This would be a perfect spot to link to the IPCC report, a NASA or NOAA web site, or other primary resource that provides evidence for this statement. Not only would this be good scientific practice to cite primary data, but also provide the reader with a link to more detailed and expansive set of information.
About the Pedagogy
- The activity provides opportunities for inquiry and experimentation for students while using visualization applets, which provide an excellent tool for students to understand complicated subject matter.
- Excellent pedagogical organization, beginning with the assessment of students' prior knowledge.
- Students progress through five key ideas.
- Vocabulary terms are clickable and defined on the spot.
- Each key concept provides ample contextual clues, and a review is provided that evaluates students' knowledge via summative assessment questions.
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- The activity is set up very well to guide students through the material.
- It is technically very easy to use, with good explanations on how to use the applets.
- Very comprehensive content built directly into the interface of this activity.