A program of the Lawrence Hall of Science that seeks to increase ocean literacy through informal and formal education initiatives
Marine Activities, Resources & Education

Climate & Data ACLIPSE Activities

Fostering student inquiry of climate science with real-time data. The modules in this collection are based on the principle that real-time environmental data is a valuable tool for providing students with opportunities for self-directed exploration of the natural world. Students will gain a deeper understanding of carbon cycling, ocean acidification, and other phenomena related to climate change. These modules are designed with a three-dimensional approach to teaching in mind (e.g. NGSS-aligned), and also use a data literacy framework to help guide students through data orientation, interpretation, and synthesis.

  • Tracking Carbon: Photosynthesis and Respiration
    • Overview Image of Summary of Tracking Carbon: Photosynthesis and Respiration activity
    • In this session, students collect evidence using multiple approaches (e.g. lab investigations, field experiments, model simulations, real-time data) to explore the role of photosynthesis and respiration in the flow of carbon through different global carbon "reservoirs". They learn that dissolved oxygen can be a "proxy" for carbon dioxide in natural waters, and use this to explore and interpret natural patterns and identify environmental factors that control oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH. With this collection of evidence they construct explanations for changes in oxygen, photosynthesis, and respiration throughout the day, and discuss implications for this in terms of seasonal patterns in changing atmospheric CO2 and ocean pH on local and global scales.
    • Activity Write-up 
    • Activity Powerpoint slides
    • Activity handouts (Yeast Investigation Worksheet, PAR and DO Handout)


  • Anthropogenic Effects on Carbon Flows and Reservoirs

    • Overview  Anthropogenic Effects activity overview

    • In this activity, students continue to explore the carbon cycle as they consider carbon flows between land, ocean and atmosphere reservoirs, including flows caused by human activities. They run two models of the carbon cycle as they play the Paper Clip Carbon Cycle Game and use Carbon Cycle Cards to gather evidence and describe the flows (processes) that move carbon from one reservoir to another. Finally, they discuss how the design of the activity affected what they learned.

    • Activity Write-up

    • Activity Powerpoint slides
    • Activity handouts ( Carbon Cycle Cards, Instructions - Paper Clip Carbon Cycle Game).

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These activities were prepared by the Lawrence Hall of Science and Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve under award nos. NA14SEC0080004 and NA15SEC0080001 from the Environmental Literacy Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or the U.S. Department of Commerce.