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Climate Change in the Classroom – a STEM Experiment

South Whidbey Middle and High Schools, grades 7-12

Understanding the carbon cycle and the relationship between CO2, plant life, and climate change is crucial in preparing students for the world they will inherit.

Every middle and high school student should experience, observe and understand the carbon cycle first-hand, and then go on through school and life with that perspective.

We need this generation to be equipped with an intimate understanding of the systems involved in climate and Global Warming.

Project Description:

Four 15-gallon terrariums will be converted into sealed environments for conducting experiments involving plants’ use of carbon, decomposition, oxidation, etc.

Carbon Dioxide sensors will be installed in tanks to measure CO2 levels during experiments. Students can observe and measure plants changing the atmosphere within the tanks.

Biology and Math students will set up experiments, track and analyze data. High school Agriculture students and Middle school Garden students will grow plants for the experiments and will attend presentations from Biology or Math students regarding findings.

All students will use these experiments as a springboard to discuss larger topics such as climate change and environmental degradation. Math students will track and analyze trends and data, and use this data to formulate mathematical solutions to climate change, such as a carbon tax.

Teachers: Madelaine Pinkerton, Seth Raabe

Evaluation of success: 

Math and biology students will demonstrate their elevated understanding of systems studied with assignments and project presentations, and by saving us all!

Total Project cost: $1,908