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Author

Paleontological Research Institution

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Chemistry, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Experiments
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

Global

Format

PDF

Climate Change Toolkit: The Greenhouse Effect in a Beaker

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Synopsis
  • This experiment will demonstrate the causes and impacts of the Greenhouse Effect in a hands-on and engaging way.
  • Students will learn about radiant energy, Earth's atmosphere, and the Greenhouse Effect while participating in a lab that mimics the Greenhouse Effect in ways that are immediate and observable.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This activity is thorough and the reading at the beginning will be helpful for student understanding of the greenhouse effect.
  • While the lab is involved, it can be differentiated and is manageable for students at a variety of levels.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students and teachers can watch this related video to see the experiment being completed.
  • Students should be familiar with lab safety prior to this activity.
  • To complete the experiment, teachers will need a heat lamp, two 1-liter beakers, two digital thermometers, small flexible tubing, a flask with a stopper, and NaHCO3 tablets.

Differentiation

  • Cross curricular connections can be made in math classes by using the data collected or provided to graph the outcome of the experiment, or in language arts classes by writing an informational or procedural piece about the experiment or the Greenhouse Effect.
  • If the materials are not accessible or students are not able to complete the physical lab for any reason, the data provided on page 6 can be used to graph results.
Scientist Notes
This resource presents an experiment in which carbon dioxide gas produced using water and antacid tablets fills a beaker and temperatures are measured and compared to a control beaker. The experiment description is clear and the resource includes supporting information to describe what is happening within the experiment. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
    • PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
      • MS-PS4-2 Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading (K-12)
      • R.6-8.12 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
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