Today was our second day investigating the issue of Global Warming. Students worked in groups of four to simulate how thickening the atmosphere with pollution can cause a planet to heat up, even if the amount of sunlight never changes.
Students read event cards that went from 1850 to 2075. Every 25 years they were instructed to either add or subtract pollution from their “Earths” (clear plastic boxes) and then keep track of the changing temperature. Simply by covering a few of the holes in their boxes with masking tape, it quickly became apparent that temperature does not just depend on the heat source; it depends on the atmosphere too. Luckily, for one of the Earths, laws were passed to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and the temperature went back to normal. But for the other Earth that kept on polluting? Goodbye, ice caps. Hello droughts and flooding.