This multi-week project begins with a measurement of baseline consumptive behavior followed by three weeks of working to reduce the use of water, energy, high-impact foods, and other materials. The assignment uses an Excel spreadsheet that calculates direct energy and water use as well as indirect CO2 and water use associated with food consumption. After completing the project, students understand that they do indeed play a role in the big picture. They also learn that making small changes to their lifestyles is not difficult and they can easily reduce their personal impact on the environment.
This video is one of a series from the Switch Energy project. It reviews the environmental impacts of various energy resources including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables. CO2 emissions as a specific environmental impact are discussed.
This is an interactive webtool that allows the user to choose a state or country and both assess how climate has changed over time and project what future changes are predicted to occur in a given area.
In this JAVA-based interactive modeling activity, students are introduced to the concepts of mass balance, flow rates, and equilibrium using a simple water bucket model. Students can vary flow rate into the bucket, initial water level in the bucket, and residence time of water in the bucket. After running the model, the bucket's water level as a function of time is presented graphically and in tabular form.
This gallery of ten temperature graphs shows global temperatures on different timescales from decades (recently measured temperatures) to centuries (reconstructed) to millions of years (modeled from ice cores).
This fuel cell animation demonstrates how a fuel cell uses hydrogen to produce electricity, with only water and heat as byproducts. The animation consists of four parts - an introduction, fuel cell components, chemical process, and fuel cell stack.
In this activity, students work with climate data from the tropical Pacific Ocean to understand how sea-surface temperature and atmospheric pressure affect precipitation in the tropical Pacific in a case study format.
A detailed Google Earth tour of glacier change over the last 50 years introduces this topic in an engaging way. Students are then asked to select from a group of glaciers and create their own Google Earth tour exploring key characteristics and visible changes in that glacier.