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Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Earth Science  
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This unit focuses on the impacts of climate change on humans. Students participate in activities using "Character Cards" (included with the unit). The cards introduce fictitious citizens who describe the local economic, social and political factors... (View More)

This unit focuses on local plant species; students learn to identify common species and will examine their life cycle characteristics as evidence of climate change. Through the use of the national citizen science project titled Project BudBurst,... (View More)

In this unit, students investigate temperature cycles, tree rings, CO2 records, and the effects of CO2 on temperature, precipitation and cloud cover to determine the impacts of changing climate on forests. After gathering and analyzing local data,... (View More)

Students are introduced to the carbon cycle through discussion, modeling and a game. Students then complete activities and investigations on Greenhouse gasses, photosynthesis, cellular respiration and ecosystem services (functions and values of... (View More)

In this activity, student teams will create a controlled experiment by building ecosystems in two 2-liter bottles. Teams determine the control conditions of both bottles, identify a test variable, and run the experiment for several weeks to... (View More)

In this introductory textbook chapter, students become familiar with how scientists view planet Earth. This is the first chapter in the unit, A New World View, which introduces global systems science, emphasizing the concepts of environmental... (View More)

Keywords: Sustainability
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This problem-based learning module places learners in the role of researchers analyzing carbon monoxide's environmental impact. Both vehicle emissions and biomass burning are cited as events producing carbon monoxide that impact the environment.... (View More)

Since the Industrial Revolution, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has risen from ~280ppm (parts per million by volume) to ~390ppm in 2010. The rate of increase for the last decade (2001-2010) has been 2.04ppm/yr, more than double the rate... (View More)

In this problem-based learning unit, learners analyze the role of condensation trails from jets, or contrails, and their role in climate change. Contrails are thin ice clouds that form from the burning of jet fuel and release of water vapor. The... (View More)

In this problem-based learning unit, learners examine the causes and impacts of dust transported through the atmosphere. An estimated two billion tons of dust is emitted by the Earth annually. Scientists are becoming increasingly interested in the... (View More)

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