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View Resource Trees and Carbon

The transport and transformation of substances in the environment are known collectively as biogeochemical cycles. These global cycles involve the circulation of elements and nutrients that sustain both the biological and physical aspects of the environment. As an example, this discussion centers around the carbon cycle and how carbon is sequestered in trees. Students will perform an activity...

View Resource Photosynthesis and Respiration

Most people are aware that plants undergo photosynthesis, a process by which they convert sunlight and carbon dioxide in sugar and water. But not as many realize that plants also undergo respiration, which is the reverse of this process. In a two-part activity, students will examine the processes of respiration and photosynthesis with the aquatic plant, Elodea, by measuring how it changes the pH...

View Resource The Atmosphere and Climate Change

The terms greenhouse effect, climate change, and global warming are often used interchangeably, yet they really refer to three separate and distinct processes. This activity examines all three and assesses whether Earth's atmosphere is getting warmer. Students will read two articles from the journal of Science that discuss the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and...

View Resource Acid Rain

Due to the presence of dissolved gases such as carbon dioxide, rainfall is naturally acidic. The release of other gases and chemicals such as sulfur dioxide during the combustion of coal and oil can cause rainfall to become even more acidic, sometimes to the point of toxicity. In this activity, students will measure the pH of local rainfall to see what effect these gases have in their region....

View Resource The Atmosphere

This exercise is intended to reinforce the importance of Earth's atmosphere to living organisms. Topics include our bodies' interactions with the atmosphere; its composition and structure; and natural changes in the atmosphere (weather). Students will perform an activity in which they are asked to observe and record weather conditions for four days, answer questions about their observations, and...

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