Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 4AM/PM, Day 6) – The Science of Complexity
Today we learned about how trash and pollution from things like power, factories, and cars unbalance the carbon cycle by contributing more CO2 and CH4 into the air. We learned that “bent,” or “lopsided,” molecules store heat and energy, while “straight” molecules reflect heat and energy. Most of out atmosphere is “straight” molecule, like N2 and O2. These molecules protect us from the sun during the day. Others, like CO2, H2O, CH4, and N2O trap heat and insulate the Earth. In the last hundred years, we have increased insulating molecules, making the temperature of the Earth increase.
We built physical models with empty plastic bottles and thermometers. We covered one and left the other open to show the green house effect. In the AM class, the covered bottle got up to 108 degrees F. In the PM class, it reached 120 degrees! Then, we went to the computer lab, where some students worked on finishing their carbon cycle models, while others added green house gasses or climate change to their existing carbon cycle models.
Tomorrow, we will start with a new complex system by learning about DNA and genes. We will build on these concepts on Wednesday to learn about natural selection and evolution.