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Personal Carbon Emissions Integrated Math and Earth Science Lesson: Ideas to Slow Climate Change

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Personal Carbon Emissions: Integrated Math and Earth Science Lesson

What can people do to help protect planet earth?

Can middle school students learn about global warming, climate change, and carbon emissions in an age-appropriate way? Can they determine their personal carbon footprint?

This integrated science and math lesson contains everything you need to tackle these issues!

  1. A one-page handout that demonstrates the relationships between human use of fossil fuels, greenhouse gases, and climate change in straight-forward and easy to understand language (with helpful visuals).

  2. A two-page personal carbon emissions calculation worksheet. Students will apply basic decimal calculations (addition, multiplication) to calculate their estimated emissions of greenhouse gas equivalents per year.

  3. A one-page reflection for students to take time to reflect on what they have learned, what parts surprised them, and how they could take small steps toward starting to reduce their personal impact on the earth's environment.

Categories Used in the Personal Calculation Include:

- Flying: How many flights of different distances do you take a year? Did you know that first class seats produce more emissions per person?

- Transportation: How do you get around on a daily basis? How far do you drive to school and activities?

- Waste: Do you recycle or compost any of your waste?

- Food: What kinds of food do you eat? Did you know that eating meat produces more emissions than plant-based diets?

- Electricity: How does your home get electricity and how careful are you with reducing how much you use?

- Natural Gas: Does your home use natural gas for cooking or fireplaces?

- Stuff: How much stuff do you regularly buy? Could you cut back?

Math Skills Required for this activity: Adding and Multiplying Decimals in Tenths

Grades to Use With:

This lesson is designed primarily for middles grades students in grades 5-10. As long as your students can access the math skills required (working with decimals), it could be an interesting activity for students and learners of any age!

What's Included:

A total of 6 pages in PDF Format:

Title Page

Teacher Instructions

Climate Change Handout

2 Page Carbon Emissions Calculation Worksheet

1 Page Reflection

Resource Tags

carbon emissions climate change global warming carbon cycle environment earth science STEM math and science carbon footprint greenhouse gases

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