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The effect of carbon dioxide on the environment

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7th grade

7th grade

Published in: Technology

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  • 1. Effect of Carbon Dioxide on the Environment DSVS – Spring 2011 7 th Grade
  • 2. I. Introduction
    • Explain to students that in today’s experiment they will be studying what happens when carbon dioxide is bubbled into drinking water, rain water, and ocean water.
    • Tell them that air contains a small amount of carbon dioxide gas (about 0.03%).
    • Ask them the question: Where do they think the carbon dioxide in air comes from?
  • 3. II. Demonstration
    • Pour the contents of the bottle labeled rain water into the first glass.
    • Pour the contents of the bottle labeled drinking water into the second glass.
    • Pour the contents of the bottle labeled ocean water into the third glass.
    • Hold the cups up so that the students can see them and have them describe them.
  • 4. II. Demonstration (Cont.)
    • Scientists can use indicators to test if something is acidic, basic, or neutral.
    • Write the Bromothymol blue color chart on the board.
    • Add a few drops of the Bromothymol blue indicator to the each of the waters (until you get a good color in each one) and show the students the color changes.
  • 5. III. Experiment
    • NOTE: DSVS members need to put on a pair of gloves when distributing pieces of Dry Ice to the students.
    • Tell students that today's activity involves some reactions of carbon dioxide in water.
    • Since Dry Ice is at -78 o C, tell the students not to handle the Dry Ice.
  • 6. IIIA. Effect of bubbling carbon dioxide into “ocean” water
    • Give each group a plate, a 6 oz clear cup 1/3 filled with “ocean water”.
      • Tell students to describe the liquid. It is clear.
      • Tell the students this is not real ocean water, but is pure water with chemicals added to it to make it similar to ocean water.
    • DSVS members should add a squirt of bromothymol blue indicator to each pair’s cup, so that the color is deep blue.
    • One DSVS member puts a piece of Dry Ice into each cup of the water/indicator mixture.
    • Tell the students to watch for any changes and record observations.
  • 7. IIIB. How is carbon dioxide removed from the air?
    • By photosynthesis in plants
    • Removal can also occur when carbon dioxide dissolves in water. Rainwater can naturally dissolve CO 2 . This makes the rainwater naturally slightly acidic.
    • Water in the oceans can also remove CO 2 directly from the air. The oceans contain 50 times more CO 2 than that found in the atmosphere.
    • These natural mechanisms can remove 10 billion tons of CO 2 per year.
  • 8. IV. Discussion
    • Ask students if they can think of consequences of dissolving increasing amount of carbon dioxide in ocean waters?
    • It will make the oceans more acidic.
    • The change in acidity so far is small, but greater changes are expected.
    • Acidification could adversely affect marine life, but scientists are not sure how great the affect will be.
  • 9. Cleanup
    • All the cups can be emptied into a sink and washed down with water.
    • If there is no sink, empty the contents back into the “ocean water” bottles and return to the lab. Make sure the cap is on tightly.
    • Put all used cups in the trash bag and return with the kit.
    Credit: Vanderbilt Students Volunteer for Science