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Carbon Footprint

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Keywords: carbon footprint, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics
Subject(s): Information Skills, Technology, Science, Earth Science, Reading, Math, English/Language Arts
Grades 6 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: South Miami K-8 Center, Miami, FL
Planned By: Joyce Rosales
Original Author: Joyce Rosales, Miami
Increase student awareness of the impact of their choices on the Earth in order to reduce their personal impact (footprint).
Learn how to enter data into a spreadsheet.
Learn how to create formulas on spreadsheets to find the mean of the data.
Learn how to use the data from the spreadsheet to create a graph using the spreadsheet software.

Introduce the lesson with a discussion of global warming and CO2 in the atmosphere. Watch a video on Discovery Education called "Global Warming: The Signs and the Science."
Students will then go to http://calc.zerofootprint.net/youth/ and answer the survey about how they eat, use transportation, recycle, and other topics. At the end of the survey, the program will tell them their carbon footprint (number of tons of CO2 they would be using and the number of Earths worth of resources their habits would use up).
We will collect the class data and enter it into a spreadsheet. Students will learn about cells, formatting, formula creating, among other things for spreadsheets. They will also use the data table to create two bar graphs, one for the tons of CO2 and one for the number of Earths. They will learn how to format the graphs, including inserting images into the bars to represent Earth.
Students will write about ways to solve the problems of global warming in relation to their carbon footprints and habits. They will share with their families and help their families calculate their carbon footprints at home as well. Later in the year, the students will re-take the survey and see if the changes they have made in their habits have helped them to use less Earths and put less CO2 into the atmosphere.
My class already has the Smartboard, computers and Office Software. Having the Big Bus 2.0 software will add even more motivation for learning science, math, and technology skills.
Students can use the Big Bus 2.0 lessons under the Explorer's World to do more activities using spreadsheets related to science and mathematics.
Links: Zero Footprint Youth Calculator
Discovery Education - Global Warming: The Signs and The Science
Materials: Whiteboards, Projectors, Projector Screens, Computer Accessories, Office Suite, Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Keyboarding, Inspiration
Other Items: 1 1 year subscription to The Big Bus 2.0 for up to 200 students , $188.95 each, total of $188.95