Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Quiz on Carbon Cycle

An interactive online quiz to test student’s understanding of the carbon cycle. This quiz by NASA can help students understand the various components of the carbon cycle and their influence on Earth’s climate. 

Students will learn about the processes involved in regulating carbon and the role of atmospheric carbon in the carbon cycle. They will further understand how changes in these components can contribute to climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What are the various components of the Carbon Cycle? 
  2. Discuss how the cycling of carbon through the atmosphere is affected by anthropogenic activities. 
  3. Discuss the difference between carbon sinks and carbon sources using examples.

About the tool

Tool NameCarbon and the climate
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences: Chemistry
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Cycle, Biogeochemical Cycles
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of tool Classroom/Laboratory Activity
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byNASA
Hosted athttps://climate.nasa.gov/
Linkhttps://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/96/quiz-carbon-and-the-climate/
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Introduction to the Carbon Cycle

An infographic that describes the Carbon Cycle and how anthropogenic activities affect the Carbon Cycle. This infographic by NASA explains how higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic activities are affecting the natural carbon cycle.

Students will learn about the carbon cycle and the absorption of carbon dioxide by the land and oceans. They will further be introduced to facts and figures regarding the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss the ‘Carbon Cycle’ in the classroom. 
  2. How do anthropogenic activities affect carbon dioxide concentrations? 

About the tool

Tool NameEarth’s carbon cycle is off balance
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences; Chemistry
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Cycle, Biogeochemical Cycles
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelMiddle School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byNASA
Hosted atClimate NASA Website
Linkhttps://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/136/infographic-earths-carbon-cycle-is-off-balance/
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Teaching Module: Biogeochemical Cycles and Climate Change

A teaching module that discusses the carbon cycle and the nitrogen cycle. This reading by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) describes the 2 cycles and details how the components are cycled through different parts of the Earth- atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. 

Students will be introduced to biogeochemical cycles, the processes involved, and how the carbon and nitrogen cycles work. They will further understand how anthropogenic activities potentially alter the functioning of such cycles and how this contributes to climate change.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is the carbon cycle? Describe its components and processes.
  2. What is the nitrogen cycle? Describe its components and processes.
  3. Discuss how biogeochemical cycles influence Earth’s climate?

About the tool

Tool NameBiogeochemical Cycles
DisciplineChemistry
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle, Sequestration, Capture and Storage, Sources and Sinks
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms; Climate and the Atmosphere, Climate and the Biosphere; Climate and the Hydrosphere, Climate and the Anthroposphere; Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byUniversity Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
Hosted atUCAR Website
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: The Impact of Human Activities on the Natural Carbon Cycle

A classroom/laboratory activity to understand the carbon cycle, and to explore how human activities may affect the natural carbon cycle.

Students will run a simulation to explore how an increase in fossil fuel use will affect the natural carbon cycle, and will discuss the possible impacts on flora and fauna.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Which components in the carbon cycle act as carbon sinks?
  2. What are the possible impacts of deforestation on the natural carbon cycle? How might these changes affect the Earth’s climate?

About the Tool

Tool Name The Habitable Planet – Carbon Lab
Discipline Chemistry
Topic(s) in Discipline Carbon Cycle, Biogeochemical Cycles, Environmental Chemistry
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of Tool Laboratory Activity
Grade Level High School
Location  Global
Language English
Translation
Developed by Annenberg Learner
Hosted at Annenberg Learner
Link https://www.learner.org/courses/envsci/interactives/carbon/index.php
Access Online
Computer Skills Intermediate