In this lesson, students will be using the International Student Carbon Footprint Challenge website to track their carbon footprints, compare to those of other students throughout the world, and interact with international students through online discussion forum posts. You can sign up your classes on the ISCFC teacher participation web page which will give you a list options for participation. There are many carbon footprint calculators out there but in my experience they can be glitchy or clunky to use. I feel this one is of the best footprint experiences available online.
What I liked best about this activity and this online resource:
I worked with this resource for the first time last fall and the students loved seeing how basic chemistry in their textbook related to their real life and the lives of students from all around the world. I was amazed at how honest, critical, personal, and solution-oriented their reflections were as well as impressed by their level of engagement throughout the process.
For teacher support, the ISCFC has compiled a teacher guide for planning assistance. This resource helped to boost my confidence in leading the activity for the first time. This year, I didn't need to look at it once in order to successfully guide the students through the experience. I can't wait to hear about your experiences with this carbon footprint challenge activity! Enjoy!
1. Introduce this activity by asking students if they know what the phrase 'carbon footprint' means fielding responses using a popcorn protocol.
2. Tell students that they will be investigating their own carbon footprints and coming up with an action plan to reduce them.
3. Give students their homework assignment, which is to use their carbon footprint challenge data sheet to assist them in tracking their own carbon footprint data.
1. On the due date, students bring in their personal carbon footprint data and enter it into the online resource according to the directions outlined for them in their instructions on the front page of their data analysis and reflection document. Hand out this graphic for students who prefer more visual directions.
2. Once students have entered their information and received an email back with their data broken down by category and summarized in an easily understood graphic, students complete their data analysis and reflection document in order to prepare for the second half of the activity that we work on together on Day 2. See a student ISCFC document sample for more information on the types of answers you can expect to receive.