Carbon Dioxide - Sources and Sinks

In this lab activity, students use a chemical indicator (bromothymol blue) to detect the presence of carbon dioxide in animal and plant respiration and in the burning of fossil fuels and its absence in the products of plant photosynthesis. After completing the five parts of this activity, students compare the colors of the chemical indicator in each part and interpret the results in terms of the qualitative importance of carbon sinks and sources.

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Windows to the Universe
Activity takes about three 40-min lesson periods and some preparation. Additional materials required.

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

The instructions, including the four figures, are clear.

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