Climate Change - Projects
Climate change is one of those important topics that can be hard to tackle in the classroom. But it’s vital to give kids the facts by using climate change activities that help them understand what’s taking place—and why it matters. Here are some Projects about what kids can do to help keep our planet healthy for years to come.
Understand the difference between CLIMATE and WEATHER
One common refrain you might hear is, “It snowed 20 inches today, so explain how global warming is real?” That’s when it’s time to tackle the difference between weather (the current conditions) and climate (the average of those conditions over time in a particular region).
Measure temperatures to learn about the GREENHOUSE EFFECT
Global warming is a key component of climate change, and it’s caused in part by an enhanced greenhouse effect. Climate change activities like this one show kids just what that term means. Place two thermometers side-by-side in a sunny spot. Put one inside a covered glass jar, and leave the other one outside. Observe the temperatures after about 20 minutes to see which is higher.
Make edible GREENHOUSE GAS models
Dive deeper into the chemistry of greenhouse gases by making edible models from toothpicks and gumdrops.
Learn About Conditions Affecting Ice Melt
The accelerated melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers is of huge concern to climate change scientists. This simple experiment shows how ice in water melts faster than ice on land.
Explore How Melting Ice Affects Sea Levels
The North Polar Ice Cap sits on water, while the South Polar Ice Cap is on land. Learn which of these two can cause sea levels to rise with this experiment, perfect for a science fair project.
Water Plants With Acid Solutions
Acid rain isn’t in the news as much these days, thanks to the incredible effectiveness of the Acid Rain Program. It’s still good for kids to learn about, though, since when unchecked, it can do real damage to plants and the environment. Try this experiment, in which kids water plants with regular water and a lemon juice-water solution, to see the effects.
Teaching About Climate Change With Project Based Learning
Shrinking Our Footprints
In this project, students use measurement, data, and fraction concepts to develop, implement, and monitor an action plan for reducing their family’s impact on the environment. Each student team focuses on one resource: water, garbage, food waste, electricity, or car gas use. Teams research information, such as the amount of water per minute of shower or the number of miles per gallon used by a family car, and then they conduct home inventories of their family’s use of these resources for 1 week (e.g., timing the length of showers, the weight and volume of garbage, or the number of watt hours used by key household devices).
Students work together to investigate local species that are (or were) native to the area and are now endangered or threatened. Students record findings in field journals and compare their findings with the populations in various ecosystems and habitats around the world. Students research and record information such as the inherited traits, learned behaviors, adaptations, life cycles, and food chains of key species in various habitats and make connections to the local species and habitat they are investigating
Ready for Anything
Students work in teams to learn about the causes, features, and risks of common natural hazards* and then produce preparedness campaigns or guides for each major type of hazard. Students will conduct in-depth research on their natural hazards, including in-person or virtual interviews with people who have experienced these hazards firsthand, as well as with scientists, engineers, and disaster preparedness specialists.
Waiting on the World to Change
Students learn about political activism and actively engage in the political process in their community. After identifying a problem or an issue of concern, students write an issue statement about this challenge. They then design and implement an action plan that raises awareness and/or provides a solution to the problem.
There’s WHAT in My Water?!
Students identify and research harmful chemicals in their community water and propose solutions to minimize the impact of these chemicals. They determine the most pressing environmental issues and the chemicals associated with those issues and identify ways to address those issues within the local community. If possible, students partner with local or regional environmental stewardship organizations to discuss these issues.
Climate Change - Activities For Kids
Make An Ocean Ecosystem Dessert
Scientists are monitoring the temperature of the ocean with an instrument called the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The satellite measures the temperature of the top millimeter of the ocean’s surface.
With this activity, learn to make a cool and tasty version of the ocean ecosystem at home!
Meet The Green House Gases
Greenhouse gases are gases in Earth’s atmosphere that trap heat. They let sunlight pass through the atmosphere, but they prevent the heat that the sunlight brings from leaving the atmosphere. The main greenhouse gases are:
Make A Garden Lampshade
Do you want to know what’s happening under the ground? In just the first few inches or centimeters of soil, there are roots, bugs, and water. In this activity, you can make a garden on a lampshade. When you turn the light on, you can see what’s in the soil.
Make S'Mores With A Solar Oven
Harness the energy of the Sun to make the best snack ever invented, S’mores!
A solar oven is a box that traps some of the Sun’s energy to make the air inside the box hotter than the air outside the box. In other words, the solar oven is like a super greenhouse.
Make a Terrarium Mini-Garden
A terrarium is like an aquarium, but for plants instead of fish. It is made in just about any glass container. It is planted to look like a miniature garden or forest enclosed in its own little world.
You can easily make a beautiful terrarium yourself.