Quick summary: Students examine carbon dioxide and the carbon cycle. They begin by investigating the differences between carbon sinks and sources. They will then observe an experiment aimed at demonstrating how a carbon sink can become a carbon source. Finally they are asked to demonstrate their understanding of the carbon cycle by creating an animated carbon cycle.
These activities “… are an invaluable tool for teachers to address climate change in an educationally relevant, scientifically sound, and action-based way.” – Tim Flannery (Read more)
- Students understand the carbon cycle and the interactions that occur within this cycle.
- Students recognise the difference between a carbon source and a carbon sink.
- Students are able to observe and report on an experiment involving a carbon sink.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1.
Australian Curriculum content description:
Year 10 Science
- Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)
- Different types of chemical reactions are used to produce a range of products and can occur at different rates (ACSSU187)
Syllabus Outcomes: SC5-16CW, SC5-12ES.
Topic: We Are the Weather Makers
Time required: 60 mins
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Oversee activity, conduct experiment, facilitate discussion.
Resources required: Crushed chalk (not dustless – make sure this is composed of calcium carbonate), vinegar, glass jar or beaker, student worksheets, internet access.
Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework or extension.
Key reading from We Are the Weather Makers: Chapter 1 – Everything Is Connected
Further reading from the book: Chapter 3 – The Greenhouse Gases, Chapter 8 – Digging Up The Dead
Keywords: Carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon cycle, carbon sink, carbon source.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.
Cool Australia would like to acknowledge:
- Tim Flannery
- David Harding, Rose Iser, Sally Stevens
- Text Publishing and Purves Environmental Fund
- Climate Council