What Factors Impact a Greenhouse?


This activity has students use a model to investigate factors in greenhouse heating and cooling. The type of surface that sunlight first encounters is the most important factor. Forests, grasslands, ocean surfaces, ice caps, deserts, and cities all absorb, reflect, and radiate radiation differently. As a result of this activity students will be able to identify at least three factors affecting the heat-trapping ability of a greenhouse, explain the factors important in the atmosphere's heat trapping ability, and understand the influence of albedo on earth's temperature. The student guide has an overall description of the activity, a list of materials, the procedure, and observations and questions. The instructor guide contains detailed background material, learning goals, alignment to national standards, grade level/time, details on materials and preparation, procedure, assessment ideas, and modifications for alternative learners.

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Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science
Grade Level: Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)
Climate Literacy Principles: Complex Interactions:Greenhouse Gases, Sun Drives Earth System:Energy Balance, Greenhouse Effect, UV, Infrared
Topics: Atmosphere, Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Atmospheric Science