Dinosaur Breath - Learning about the Carbon Cycle

This activity illustrates the carbon cycle using an age-appropriate hook, and it includes thorough discussion and hands-on experimentation. Students learn about the geological (ancient) carbon cycle; they investigate the role of dinosaurs in the carbon cycle, and the eventual storage of carbon in the form of chalk. Students discover how the carbon cycle has been occurring for millions of years and is necessary for life on Earth. Finally, they may extend their knowledge to the concept of global warming and how engineers are working to understand the carbon cycle and reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

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Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Janet Yowell
TeachEngineering - Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, CU Boulder
Activity takes one 50-minute period, implementing the extensions takes more time. Additional materials are necessary.

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

The activity offers both Word and PDF document of worksheets allowing for convenient changes.

For additional safety, students need splash-proof goggles, not just safety glasses.

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