Grades 3 -
By the end of this activity, students will be able to:
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns | Cause and Effect - Mechanism and Explanation | Systems and System Models | Energy and Matter - Flows, Cycles, and Conservation | Structure and Function | Stability and Change
NGSS Science & Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems | Planning and Carrying Out Investigations | Analyzing and Interpreting Data | Developing and Using Models | Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions | Engaging in Argument from Evidence | Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: LS1 - From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes | LS2 - Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics | ESS2 - Earth’s Systems | ESS3 - Earth and Human Activity | ETS1 - Engineering Design
Observatory: Sierra CZO
Author(s): Michelle Gilmore (UC Merced)
Funding: Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory
Carbon is found nearly everywhere on Earth. In this activity designed for 3rd-8th graders, students explore where and how carbon travels in an ecosystem, and make a model of carbon cycling in a forest. Students also learn how certain events in a forest can change the timing and routing of carbon.
Note: Proposed NGSS alignment and 5E lesson structure (less Evaluate) are included in the activity guide. This activity was originally developed for Merced County Office of Education's TEAM-E Science Training for elementary and middle school teachers.