Transformations in Matter and Energy Carbon TIME is an NSF-funded partnership led by Michigan State University
Human Energy Systems | Activity 4.3
Target Student Performance
Students investigate the relationship between pools and fluxes in a physical model of a tiny world, showing how changing photosynthesis, cellular respiration, and combustion fluxes can account for both an annual cycle and a long-term trend in the atmospheric CO2 pool.
Resources You Provide
- Markers for Tiny World Pool and Flux Activity to be used on the placement (30 per pair of students)
- 4.3 Tiny World Modeling PPT
- 4.3 Tiny World Pool and Flux Placemat (1 per pair of students)
- 4.3 Tiny World Modeling Worksheet (1 per student)
- 4.3 Grading the Tiny World Modeling Worksheet (1 per class)
- Learning Tracking Tool for Human Energy Systems (1 per student)
- Assessing the Learning Tracking Tool for Human Energy Systems
Print the 4.3 Tiny World Pool and Flux Placemat. You may want to laminate them first in order to make them last longer. Print one copy of 4.3 Tiny World Modeling Worksheet for each student. Prepare a computer and projector to display the 4.3 Tiny World Modeling PPT.
Check to see if students are making the connection that photosynthesis causes the inorganic pool to shrink and the organic pool to grow, whereas cellular respiration causes the opposite trend. Students might also suggest that photosynthesis causes a “flux” to the biomass pool, and cellular respiration causes a “flux” to the atmosphere pool. In addition, check that students are understanding how combustion contributes to the atmosphere pool and is not balanced by a different flux.