Photosynthesis Engineering Performance Task - Carbon Sequestration

Rebecca Newburn

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This is a rigorous and engaging engineering performance task for a unit on photosynthesis. The storyline for the unit: You are a group of soil scientists and have been commissioned by a government agency to help reverse global warming. You need to design a natural, low-cost method that is effective and scalable to pull extra carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it in plants and the soil. Each group is given 4 containers, soil, mycorrhizal inoculant, corn seeds, radish seeds, organic fertilizer, and inorganic fertilizer, and they devise a plan to test their theories about how to best capture carbon. Individual accountability is built in as each student reports his/her data on a team created data form. The group submits a government report with their findings, which gives the claim-evidence-reasoning argumentation an authentic feel. The full unit is available at rebeccanewburn.com. Teacher resources are posted at the bottom of the unit page. This is a link to Carbon Sequestration Engineering Task Google Folder with the handouts, which will be updated as this project evolves. This unit was inspired by Project Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Work Ever to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken.

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Team-Based Learning
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Lesson Plan
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Creative Commons License: 
Attribution Non-commercial ShareAlike CC (BY-NC-SA)
State: 
California