Matter Talks

 Hello there! Welcome back to another science blog post. The most recent unit we have been doing in science class, has had to do with the matter cycles. The four cycles we focused on were: The carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle, the phosphorus cycle and the water cycle. My partner, Amelia, and myself were assigned the carbon cycle. The problem posed to us was to find a negative impact on the carbon cycle and a way to fix it. 

The driving question we wrote was: what bio technology can we use to reduce our carbon footprint?

Our idea was to use artificial photosynthesis in urban areas where a lot of carbon dioxide produced. Due to the effects we are having on the carbon cycle such as deforestation which means we are removing plants that do photosynthesis, which is an essential part of the carbon cycle.

When considering how we could use artificial photosynthesis on a wide scale we had to think about how effective the artificial photosynthesis unit was, how much they would cost to build, how they worked and how much carbon would they produce to build them. I believe that we used the curricular competency of: Contributing to finding solitons to problems at a local and/or global level through inquiry. 

The second curricular competency I think we demonstrated clearly is: Considering the role of scientists in innovation. The artificial photosynthesis research that we decided to base our project on was the study done by The University of Illinois based on research done by Harvard in 2011. You can click here to see the article.

The third curricular competency I think my partner and I demonstrated was: Formulating multiple hypotheses and predict multiple outcomes. You can see a visual example of this with the mind map we had to make at the beginning of the unit and add onto at the end: 

Another example of this is when we were formulating the direction of our research. First we started off with a lot of different directions we could go in and eventually narrowed it down to artificial photosynthesis. 

The fourth curricular competency ( and this one is a long one) is: Communicating scientific ideas, claims, information and perhaps a suggested course of action, for a specific purpose and audience, constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions, and representations.

I believe this is one of the areas we made the most improvement in. As you can see below, in our little ted talk inspired speech and presentation called Matter Talks, we used a lot of hard evidence and facts regarding the yearly production of carbon dioxide, for example: we identified the fact that we humans produce 30-38 billion tons of carbon per year, only forty percent of which is absorbed by the atmosphere leaving an excess 12.5 billion tons of carbon. Which is causing global warming and climate change.


So yeah! I hope you enjoyed the project, I know I did. It was really interesting and I hope to be able to do more work like that. 

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