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 5: Canopy Assessment, students subtracted the annual amount of sequestered carbon dioxide from the carbon footprint of their zip code. This gave them an understanding of the “carbon balance” of their zip code, or the amount of carbon that is possible to capture by planting additional trees. In Lesson 6, students will examine which tree species are best suited for their area based on two factors that affect tree adaptations: precipitation and temperature.
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.
At the conclusion of Lesson 1: Water Cycle & Weather, students were asked the question: “How does temperature affect evaporation?” Students review the water cycle and how it affects the weather, conduct the evaporation lab and describe the factors that affect evaporation.
This lesson emphasizes how evaporation affects precipitation which contributes to heavy rain and storms. It lays the foundation for thinking about the ways that trees can mitigate increased weather effects in urban environments like Washington, D.C. First, students discuss their past observations of evaporation and write a hypothesis to describe this phenomenon. Next, students make entries to their lab journals based on classroom instruction of the water cycle using visuals and a NASA weather video. As a class, they label a diagram that models the stages of the water cycle.