Series Climate Change in a Bottle: Climate Change in a Bottle: Overview Part 1 of 4

Climate Change in a Bottle: Overview Part 1 of 4

Lesson Objective: Students design, build, and test models of the greenhouse effect
Grade 6 / Science / Climate Change


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. What is the introductory activity for this lesson and why is it important?
  2. How does the teacher prepare students to create their own experiments?
  3. How does this activity use the scientific method and inquiry?


  • Private message to LYDIA VILLAMIL

Easy and fun learning! Questioning, testing, and finding answers. 

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  • Private message to Toktam Ceballos

I like the way the lessen is broke down and other thing is students engage and hands on ,,,,,is best learning 

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  • Private message to Daniel Reeves

I like the fact that the lesson is more hand-on than just fact base. The fact that the lesson was broken down into the "basic" makes the connection. It allows the students to learn and have fun makes the classroom more interesting, engaging, and relatable despite different learning styles.

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  • Private message to Jason Abrams

Breaking concepts down to the basics is so important to student learning. Student design and ownership is so important to facilitate learning. I love how students designed the four experiments and then used their basic knowledge to create Greenhouse effect.

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  • Private message to John Nalley
Breaking the lesson down is the key for understanding and mastery of the information.
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  • Classroom Close Up: Climate Change in a Bottle – Overview
    with Suney Park

    Suney: "We're gonna get started with our,

    Classroom Close Up: Climate Change in a Bottle – Overview
    with Suney Park

    Suney: "We're gonna get started with our, um, experiment that we've been preparing for. You guys know..."

    Today in class, you were watching my sixth graders take what they've been learning about climate change, specifically the greenhouse effect, and with this experiment, make the greenhouse effect happen right before their eyes.

    "Alright. Scientists, scholars, and climate change researchers, are you ready?"

    Students: "Yes."

    Suney: "When I say 'Go!', you're gonna turn the light on. Do your best. 5..4..3..2..1 Go!"

    In our model, the light bulb is the sun. For the earth, a soda bottle. Anything that can be broken down to the basics can be taught.

    "Why is the greenhouse effect important? And, what does it have to do with climate change? Roberto?"

    Student: "Like, if CO2, well, the main question is will temperature change if carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere?"

    Suney: "Excellent."

    I wanted the students to have an experience. So they designed the experiment themselves. All I did was show them a soda bottle and I said "How can we re-create the earth and its atmosphere in this model?"

    "I could test it out by look, by doing something to this model."

    And then they told me what to add to it.

    "So, you guys said, why don't we add some, um, carbon dioxide to one of the bottles. True?"

    So they designed each of the four experiments. They were specifically adding different variables to what would be the atmosphere.

    "If you are a plant person, you're gonna put one of the thriving plants in, and then you're gonna put whatever else you need too - your thermometer, which are over here."

    Before doing the experiment, we had to talk about the setup. And, not just like, let them go right away, but we had to really um, make it so it was broken down into steps. OK, so first, we're gonna take our bottle.

    "The caps need to be put on. It's gonna be a closed system."

    Second, we're gonna cut off the top.

    "Carefully, in the most scholarly way, you're gonna puncture with one of the ends..."

    And, just in little chunks like that, for them to be able to um, take it all in at once. And, so it's important to have the materials already ready, and to be able to show them where everything is and to give them a specific location in the room where to go. Um, I think that really simplifies things for both the teacher and um, the students.

    "One...two....and then we're gonna say 'Execute.'"

    All: "Execute"

    Suney: I believe that the goal of teaching and the activities that you choose should be to make learning fun.

    "Tell someone next to you, 'Take that data!'"

    Student: "Take that data, Naya!"

    Student: "Good luck, Naya!"

    Suney: "Here we go"

    Because if you make it fun and exciting, then they're interested and they're motivated, and then they will stay with you.

    Student: "Oh yeah! Mine is going up a little!!"

    Student: "Yeah, mine went up a half."

    Student: "Yeah, me too!"

    Suney: Especially as scientists, they also have to see a relevance to their life, and a relevance to the world.

    "What was your hypothesis?"

    Student: "That the one with the CO2 was gonna be hotter than the one without."

    Student: "Yeah."

    Student: "'Cause the CO2, like in real life, it's making us warmer, so in the bottle, it's making that plant warmer..."

    Student: "Greenhouse gas."

    Suney: When I see my students make connections between what they're learning and what's going on in the world, it is so powerful and it's so amazing, and it makes you feel like what you're doing is making a difference.

    Student: "No, it's a half."

    Suney: "Take 4."

    Students: "26.5"

    Students: "Confirmed"

    Suney: I feel like I am creating scientists. Being a scientist is how you see the world.

    Student: "Confirmed?"

    Student: "Yeah"

    Suney: You see the world and if you're aware enough, you're gonna have a question. And, what do you do to get that question answered? Science, it's a way of thinking, and it's a way of being rather than a profession or a title. Whether it's science or any subject, I want them to observe, and I want them to think about something and to question something and then to have enough confidence and enough motivation to actually do something about it to figure out the answer.

School Details

Eastside College Preparatory School
1041 Myrtle Street
East Palo Alto CA 94303
Population: 336

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Suney Park


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