CarboSchools – Sharing experiments

fredag 1 mai 2009, kl. 17:54 | Publisert i Geofag, Konferanser og kurs | 1 kommentar
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May 1st – free time to finish my blog posts about the CarboSchools meeting in Pistoia.

Monday 27th of April it was time for Sharing Experiments. The morning session included Presentation of Experiments and Activities, whereas the afternoon session included parallel activities (workshops, outdoor activities, hands-on experiments, video showings, photo galleries, poster presentations)

Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

Francesca (Italy): CO2 measurements in the different areas of the school

A short presentation of an experiment done with students at a school in Prato. They used an instrument for measuring CO2 in the schools classrooms with and without students, smoking areas, the school yard… The students also wanted to explore the difference in CO2 pressure with altitude – the school has four floors and the student did measurements in different heights. They presented their results at posters.

Anna (Spain) with teachers: Measurement of CO2 along a transect running from a higher to a lower altitude

3 different schools outside of Barcelona – measuring CO2 at different altitudes, looking for difference between the coast and further up the mountain sides.

  • differences between land and countryside due to land use
  • CO2 mixing due to wind, sea breezes, catabatic winds
  • inversion layers – instabilities in the atmosphere – orographic lift – convection

Conceptual objectives

  1. Learn how to measure meteorological parameters using proper devices
  2. Georeference technologies and topographic maps (GPS Google Earth)
  3. Work with spreadsheets
  4. Procedural objectives
  5. Apply the scientific method
  6. Develop autonomic skills
  7. Cooperative work between scientists, students and teachers

Material needed

  1. CO2 sensor with support (Vaisala)
  2. Portable meteorological station
  3. Solar radiation and rain protection (umbrella)
  4. Anemometer and barometer
  5. Topographic maps
  6. Filling in the worksheet
  7. GPS

Development of the activity

  1. Description of the measurement site
  2. Description of the meteorological situation
  3. Measurement of meteorological parameters
  4. Measurement for CO2 6 min
  5. Other interesting things  the site (traffic etc)

Later the students will meet as scientists and exchange their results with each other.

This was really interesting, I’d like to try some of this with my students, and maybe have a similar exchange with other schools in Bergen who teaches geo-science. I need more experience with the data loggers the school bought earlier this year.

Roser (Spain): Hands-On Experiments in the Classroom

Roser showed us several small hands-on experiments that she has used in her classroom – experiments that show the effect of CO2, water vapour and SO2 on temperature. Necessary equipment – glass jars, plasticine, temperature sensors, beakers, water, yeast, sugar / glucose, vinegar, sodic hydrogen carbonate. These experiments are easy to bring into our classrooms – this is what teachers want 🙂

Example – The greenhouse effect (this is from Roser’s own work)
What you need:
  • Three glass jars with lid. The lid has to have a hole to introduce the temperature sensor or the thermometer.
  • Plasticine
  • Temperature sensors or thermometers
  • Two beakers
  • Water
  • Yeast and sugar (glucose), or, vinegar and sodic hydrogen carbonate, which will provide CO2
  • Spoon
  • Light
The activity
  • To obtain CO2 there are two possibilities: mixing vinegar and sodic hydrogen carbonate or adding sugar to a mixture of warm water and yeast.
  • To obtain water vapour we will use a beaker with water.
  • You have to put a beaker with the mixture producing CO2 in a glass jar. Another beaker with water in another glass jar, and we also need an empty glass jar.
  • You have to put the three jars in the Sun with the sensors or the thermometers inside. We need an extra sensor or thermometer to measure the outside temperature. Be careful to put it in a place that has only contact with the air.
  • We will measure the initial temperature and the temperature changes every 5 minutes during 15 minutes if we are using thermometers or you can take continuous data if you have sensors. In each case note the temperature changes every 5 minutes.
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  1. […] The third experiment is about the greenhouse effect. It looks a bit like Rocer’s experiment. […]


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