Activity Introduction

Quick Summary: Using authentic data students will demonstrate their knowledge of mean, median and range to describe and compare yearly data trends. Using their calculations students will describe historic trends, predict what will happen in the future and what the changes might be if we were able to switch from using fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources.

Learning goals:

• Students understand how to calculate mean, median and range.
• Students know how to interpret these statistical values in the context of their data.
• Students discover the how the levels of greenhouse gas (GHG); particularly carbon dioxide, are changing over time and what the future holds for these levels
• Students take personal action to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.

General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 Mathematics:

Topic: Statistics and Probability: Data representation and interpretation, Climate change.

Time required: 40-60 min

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low/Medium – teacher may need to demonstrate some calculations

Resources Required: Student worksheet, internet access (optional)

Homework and extension opportunities: Students will research the Mauna Loa station and how the changes in air quality compares with that at Cape Grim.

Further activities: this activity can be completed as a stand alone lesson or as a part of a series with ‘Graphing Greenhouse Gases’.

Key words: statistics, mean, median, range, data, greenhouse gas, climate change, carbon emissions,

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Teacher Preparation:

Overarching learning goals:  Students will understand how to calculate mean, median and range. Students will learn to interpret these statistical values in the context of their data.  Students discover the how the levels of greenhouse gas (GHG); particularly carbon dioxide, are changing over time and what the future holds for these levels. (Note: mode is not relevant in this context so has therefore not been included)

Teacher content information: Cape Grim Data interactive graph give students a visual representation of the CO2 levels in the air since 1976.  The interactive graph animation demonstrates increase in CO2 levels at one of the cleanest air sources in the world.

Cape Grim, Tasmania is one of only three locations in the world which have been chosen by World Meteorological Organization-Global Atmosphere Watch (WMO-GAW) for having the cleanest air in the world. However, since the station began measuring air quality in 1979 the statistics have shown an in

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Thought starter: A butterfly flaps it's wings here and creates a storm there; we emit CO2 here and ... ?

Cape Grim, Tasmania is one of only three locations in the world which have been chosen by World Meteorological Organization-Global Atmosphere Watch (WMO-GAW) for having the cleanest air in the world. However, since the station began measuring air quality in 1979 the statistics have shown an increase in Greenhouse gases (GHG) and CO2 levels have increased by 15%.  Human activity has been mainly blamed for these increased through things like burning of fossil fuels.

Question 1

a. Using The Cape Grim Data Interactive Graph (http://capegrim.csiro.au/GreenhouseGas/) list the CO2 levels recorded in 1980:

Calculate the:

 i) mean ii) median iii) range

b. Using the same technique calculate the mean and median for:

 Year Mean Median 1990 1995 2000 2005
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