Pedagogy in Action > Library > Teaching with Spreadsheets > Examples > Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Semra Kilic-Bahi, Colby-Sawyer College
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This material was originally created for Starting Point: Teaching Economics
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.

Summary

In this activity, we will create charts by using the data provided by U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration related to world carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption and flaring of fossil fuels (Million Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide), between 1980 and 2006. We will use these charts to explore and compare the carbon dioxide emission for different regions/countries of the world.

Learning Goals

Upon the completion of this activity, the students will:
  1. Distinguish between categorical and quantitative variables
  2. Create
    • bar graphs
    • pie Charts
    • histograms
  3. Choose an appropriate graph to display the available data

Context for Use

This activity can be used in any course where the students need to give graphical summary of the information which is presented as data.

Description and Teaching Materials

This activity can be used in a classroom lab environment where each student has an access to a computer. It can also be used as a group project if the number of computers available is limited. If students have been exposed to use the graphical features of Excel, it can be given as homework.

For this activity, we use
World Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Consumption and Flaring of Fossil Fuels (Million Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide), 1980-2006 data set which is retrieved on May 7, 2010 from U.S. Energy information Administration Independent Statistics and Analysis Website.
CO2 Emissions FossilFuel Excel File (Excel 155kB Jun8 10)
CO2 Emission Main Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 39kB Jun8 10)


Teaching Notes and Tips

I strongly encourage students to collect all of their work in one file (main activity word document) and submit one file to be graded. I do remind them to "copy" and use "paste special" option to paste their Excel work to the word document as a "Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object." When grading their work, I just double click on the pasted object and see students' work/formulas as an Excel worksheet.

Assessment

Pre and posttests aligned with learning outcomes

References and Resources

For this activity, we use
World Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Consumption and Flaring of Fossil Fuels (Million Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide), 1980-2006 data set which is retrieved on May 7, 2010 from U.S. Energy information Administration Independent Statistics and Analysis Website.

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