Students will create a report for their Tree Planting Designs on their efficacy in reducing carbon in their communities.
In Lesson 6: Tree Adaptations, students identified at least 5 different tree species based on their ability to adapt to the two main climate factors of their project areas: precipitation and temperature. As a control, students also identified tree species outside of the recommended USDA Hardiness Zone to compare results. This tree data was modeled using iTree Design to determine which tree species are more likely to survive. Students noted the adaptations of the trees that are best suited for the precipitation and temperature of their area.
In Lesson 4: Carbon Cycle, students explored the ways that carbon is both produced and sequestered, and described how they would reduce carbon in the atmosphere (using text and visuals). As a follow up to calculating their personal carbon footprint in Lesson 3, students will calculate the carbon footprint of their zip code. Next, they will use the iTree Canopy online application to assess the area of tree canopy in their defined area and how much carbon is already being captured by the existing trees.
Through the experiment conducted in Lesson 2: Evaporation Lab, students concluded that higher atmospheric temperature causes an increase in evaporation which results in more precipitation. In Lesson 3, students first calculate the carbon footprint of their morning commute to school to realize that different modes of transportation produce varying amounts of carbon dioxide Next, they conduct an experiment to explore how producing carbon dioxide impacts the ecosystem.
The ecological footprint concept is a way to roughly measure the impact of a person’s daily and long-term choices on the environment. People have become so accustomed to their diet, cars, homes, and energy usage that they don’t realize that the Earth will not be able to provide the needed resources indefinitely. When students go online to calculate how many Earths it would take if everyone on the planet lives the way that they do, they will be astonished.