(How) Can Planting Trees Reduce the Human Impacts on Climate Change? [v3.0]

COMING SOON - contact Katie Van Horne katie.vanhorne@colorado.edu

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This high school unit on ecosystems starts out with students investigating the claim that planting trees can help combat climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide and storing carbon in wood. Students’ questions about where and how trees do this, sparks a series of investigations to pursue to track down where the carbon is going as it moves into and through different tissues in the tree (leaves, wood, and roots). In the second part of the unit, students are challenged to choose a tree to plant that will maximize biodiversity and ecosystem services in their own schoolyard or neighborhood. Students conduct field research, documenting organisms and interactions in urban ecosystems around their school and where they live using EcoSurvey modeling tools. They use the evidence they collected from investigations into photosynthesis, soil, and biodiversity to develop an argument for which tree best meets the criteria of the design challenge.