Stimulating Understanding of Computational science through Collaboration, Exploration, Experiment, and Discovery for students with Hearing Impairments
Mining Carbon from the Air
Overview:The lesson looks at the carbon sequestration of a forest
over time. This is provided by a professional model built by a team of Dutch
scientists at the Wageningen University and Research Center, Silviculture and Forest Ecology Group.
The software, including input files, can be downloaded from: http://www.efi.fi/projects/casfor
This is a free download. They encourage professional and educational use of the model and their sample forest plots. They require you to request the model from them so they can document its use.
I have provided a suggested lesson for learning how to mine the data this model provides. When you download the model you will also get a suggested introduction activity. The model provides one set graph of the data. In order to see other relationships you copy columns to an Excel spreadsheet and use Excel to manipulate and graph the data.
This model allows the students to see how a forest's capacity to sequester carbon changes over time. There are many variables in the model that can be changed. Some of these are: how, where and what to plant, how and when to harvest the trees, what to do with the harvested trees, how to recycle the products, what happens to recycled products, how many years to run the model. This lesson only scratches the surface of the model's potential. If you or your students use the model to develop additional lessons or reports please let me know where you post them so I can link to your work. If you are unable to find a server to post your work, I would be happy to work with you to find a server to share you research.
I have provided an answer key to my lessons. The student's questions are in red and suggested answers are blue.
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