Initial Publication Date: December 12, 2005

Name of Resource: The Greenhouse Effect in a Jar
Climate Change Theme: Greenhouse Effect
Sponsoring Organization: The Franklin Institute
Intended use: Learning Activity
Intended audience: Educator and developer
Overall Recommendation: Yes with some reservations
Average Review Ratings (Poor to Excellent, 1-5 scale): 3.5 stars

Description: Activity demonstrating how greenhouse effect works using jars, heat source, and thermometers. The activity described under "Going Further" is more scientifically accurate than the main activity. (CM)

Summary of Reviews

Reviewer: Carrie Morrill 4 stars
Comments: The reason why the jar warms (suppressed convection) is unrelated to the greenhouse effect and might promote misconceptions. The activity labeled "Going further" involving two jars, one with carbon dioxide and one without, is more accurate.
Read entire review: link text (Acrobat (PDF) 59kB Jun21 05)

Reviewer: Jack Ganse 3 stars
Comments: This site outlines an activity for simulating the greenhouse effect using glass jars and thermometers. I've encountered variations of this activity on other websites as well-I'm not sure where the activity originated. The site provides instructions for the activity as well as background information relating the activity to the greenhouse effect. The materials are pretty simple and inexpensive.
Read entire review: link text (Acrobat (PDF) 52kB Jun21 05)

Reviewer: Robert Croft3.5 stars
Comments: This is a good activity to teach in a concrete way what the greenhouse effect is. However for most middle school situations, teachers teach multiple classes and the volume/space for set up needed to conduct such a lab with all classes is the problem. The activity itself is not the problem.
Read entire review: link text (Acrobat (PDF) 57kB Jun21 05)