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.

In this activity, students work in groups, plotting carbon dioxide concentrations over time on overheads and estimating the rate of change over five years. Stacked together, the overheads for the whole class show an increase on carbon dioxide over five years and annual variation driven by photosynthesis. This exercise enables students to practice basic quantitative skills and understand how important sampling intervals can be when studying changes over time. A goal is to see how small sample size may give incomplete picture of data.

This short activity provides a way to improve understanding of a frequently-published diagram of global carbon pools and fluxes. Students create a scaled 3-D visual of carbon reservoirs and the movement of carbon between reservoirs.

This hands-on activity is a kinesthetic game illustrating the dynamics of the carbon cycle. Acting as carbon atoms, students travel from one carbon reservoir to another. At each reservoir they determine, by rolling dice, how long they stay in the reservoir or how likely it is that they will move to another carbon reservoir.

In this experiment, students investigate the importance of carbon dioxide to the reproductive growth of a marine microalga, Dunalliela sp. (Note that the directions are for teachers and that students protocol sheets will need to be created by teachers.)

In this activity, students use a physical model to learn the basics of photosynthesis and respiration within the carbon cycle.

In this activity, students explore the way that human activities have changed the way that carbon is distributed in Earth's atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere.

In this activity, students explore the role of combustion in the carbon cycle. They learn that carbon flows among reservoirs on Earth through processes such as respiration, photosynthesis, combustion, and decomposition, and that combustion of fossil fuels is causing an imbalance. This activity is one in a series of 9 activities.

This is a series of 5 guided-inquiry activities that examine data and models that climate scientists use to attempt to answer the question of Earth's future climate.

This activity introduces students to visualization capabilities available through NASA's Earth Observatory, global map collection, NASA NEO and ImageJ. Using these tools, students build several animations of satellite data that illustrate carbon pathways through the Earth system.