Climate Change: Are plants the answer? Kate Andrews firstname.lastname@example.org
Aims To: • consider the role of phytoplankton in the gas balance of the atmosphere and how imbalance is magnifying the greenhouse effect • establish climate change curricular links • carry out practical activities to support the science – photosynthesis in green algae • suggestactivities which will allow young people to engage in the discussion of the scienceand controversy around climate change
Contexts for learning • Recognise the impact the sciences make on my life, the lives of others, the environment and on society • Express opinions and make decisions on social, moral, ethical economic and environmental issues based upon sound understanding • Develop as a scientifically-literate citizen with a lifelong interest in the sciences
Planet Earth Biodiversity and interdependence • I have collaborated on investigations into the process of photosynthesis and I can demonstrate my understanding of why plants are vital to sustaining life on Earth SCN 3-02a Processes of the planet • I can explain some of the processes which contribute to climate change and discuss the possible impact of atmospheric change on the survival of living things SCN 3-05b
Materials • Through experimentation, I can identify indicators of chemical reactions having occurred......SCN 3-19a
Practical Activities • Algae and photosynthesis. • Make a ‘hanging drop’ slide of algae and view the algae using the Motic microscopes.
Establish prior learning • What do we already know about the gases plants exchange with their surroundings? • Photosynthesis? • Respiration?
Any misconceptions? • In what conditions do plants photosynthesise? • In what conditions do plants respire?
use sugars release carbon dioxide contain chlorophyll respire use light energy respire use carbon dioxide use carbon dioxide photosynthesise use light energy make sugars release carbon dioxide contain chlorophyll Animals Plants
carbon cycle photosynthesis respiration You might have come up with something like this…… sugar and oxygen carbon dioxide and water
Phytoplankton • <1% of the plant biomass on earth • ~50% net photosynthesis of biosphere • Size: < 1μm - >100 μm • Concentration – 106 in a 5 cm3 teaspoonful of seawater (2 x 105 cm-3) • First link in food chain • Key role in ecology of marine ecosystems • Major role in global carbon cycle
“Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.” • Any misconceptions about the greenhouse effect?
Atmospheric CO2 measured at Mauna Loa - Keeling Curve (taken from Scripps Institution of Oceanography)
Topical science • Through science research and discussion, I have contributed to evaluations of media items with regard to scientific content and ethical implications. SCN 3-20b →→→ 4-20b ........ ....use relevant information to develop an informed argument.
Listening and talking • When I engage with others, I can make a relevant contribution, encourage others to contribute and acknowledge that they have the right to hold a different opinion. LIT3-02a • When listening and talking with others for different purposes, I can: - Communicate information, ideas or opinions - Explain processes, concepts or ideas - Identify issues raised, summarise findings or draw conclusions LIT 3-09a
Active learning activities: Geoff Petty (Evidence Based Teaching – a Practical Approach, 2006)“What the learner does is more important than what the teacher does.” “..require students to make their own meanings of the concepts you are teaching.”
Some Active Learning Activities • Pilot and navigator – Use for ‘hanging drop’ and microscope work. One following instructions, the other doing. Then swap, so that everyone completes the activity. Perhaps pair the pupils so that the ‘stronger’ does the practical bit first. • ‘T’ chart. Establish misconceptions about photosynthesis / respiration, or use as a summary activity. • Carbon Cycle – generates discussion as pupils decide how to arrange the words, pictures and arrows.
Question pairs – Pupils read text (perhaps some of the background information on phytoplankton, climate change greenhouse gases etc), they create their own questions and answers to try on peers. • Snowball – “Our teacher thinks that photosynthesis is the most important chemical reaction to happen on planet Earth….??” a) Individuals write down their thoughts b) Share in twos / threes c) Optionally, these can combine to make bigger groups d) Each group agrees on a group answer e) Teacher asks each big group in turn for one BIG idea.
Research tasks - What are phytoplankton? - Phytoplankton and the greenhouse effect - How environmental change is affecting phytoplankton - Studying phytoplankton – the NASA images • Jig-saw – each group researches and becomes ‘expert’ on one area. Groups are then mixed, one ‘expert’ on each topic to form the new groups. ‘Experts’ share their learning with the group. • Presentation - Groups research all areas. They will have to do a presentation on one sub-topic. They won’t know which until presentation time.
NASA Kids’ Club • FunBrain.com • The National Earth Science Teachers Association (for Carbon Cycle Game) • windows2univers.org
Are plants the answer? The big debate…….. • Uncertainties • Controversy • Future developments