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Sea tubes to solve climate crisis?

  • Teaching Idea
  • Key Stage 3
  • GCSE

Type: Teaching Idea
Learning Strategy: Communication
Topic: Photosynthesis

The media are full of doom and gloom about climate change. Scientists are usually quoted as confirming the problem and its causes. But scientific ideas also offer solutions. This activity describes a plan to install huge hanging pipes in the ocean. Nutrient-rich cold water from the deep sea will rise to the surface and promote algae growth…and the algae will absorb CO2. Students study the science of the scheme and consider its benefits and problems. They then write a script for a celebrity to present the idea on a competitive (imagined!) TV programme What have scientists done for us?

11-16 How Science Works:
How Science Works

11-14 (2008 KS3) – applications and implications
1.2a Exploring how the creative application of scientific ideas can bring about
technological developments and consequent changes in the way people
think and behave.

14-16 (KS4) – applications and implications of science
4a The use of contemporary scientific and technological developments and their benefits, drawbacks and risks

Published: 4th October 2007
Reviews & Comments: 0

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Learning objectives

Students will consider the benefits and drawbacks of using sea pipes to help reduce climate change.

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11-14 (2008 KS3)
3.4c Human activity and natural processes can lead to changes in the environment.

GCSE specifications
AQA Core
B1b Greenhouse effect

Edexcel Additional
Topic 7 C1b Global warming

Gateway core
Module P2 Living for the future – global warming

OCR 21st Century Additional
Module C1 Air quality

Running the activity

Display page 1 to set the scene. Emphasise the quotation at the bottom. Next display page 2. This page describes the science behind the new technology and outlines three tasks. The tasks are:
• Page 3 – cut labels from page 3 and use them to complete the diagram.
• Page 4 gets students to consider the benefits and problems of the scheme. The task promotes higher order thinking, and is based upon two of De Bono 'six hats' (and could be extended to use all six). However taking the positive and the negative as extremes and using highlighters means that students engage quickly at a reflective level with no copying of text.
• TV script - this creative task is the third one described on page 2. If you wish, extend the activity so that students produce podcasts and upload their work onto the Internet.

News links

ABC (Australia)
Another news story
New Scientist
Story from New Scientist magazine
New Scientist
More from New Scientist

Media links

BBC news
BBC news story, with link to video

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