Go global

23rd March 2007 at 00:00
We are all warming to the subject of how to save the planet. Stephen Manning looks at a new resource that doesn't cost the Earth

Climate change is rarely out of the news, and a new free online resource aims to get key stage 2 and 3 pupils thinking more about carbon dioxide and how it contributes to global warming. Science: Why Not Change Your World? has been created by Lucy Taylor, campaign manager for Why Not Chemical Engineering, a website that promotes chemical engineering as a career choice.

"Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that captures heat," she says. "We need it to keep the Earth warm, otherwise we would be as cold as the Moon. But too much of it means too much heat, hence global warming."

The website gives instructions on how to conduct carbon dioxide experiments. One involves putting baking powder into a balloon, and vinegar into a bottle. When the balloon is attached to the top of the bottle, the baking powder and vinegar mix and carbon dioxide is produced, which inflates the balloon.

Another is to attach half an indigestion tablet to the inside of a film canister lid with Blu-Tack. Half-fill the canister with cold water, attach the lid and turn it upside down so the water and tablet mix, again producing gas that causes the base of the canister to pop off.

The main activity is to design an energy-saving house. How about putting solar panels on the roof? Or perhaps installing light sensors that switch off automatically when you leave the room? The smallest things can make a difference Visit www.whynotchemeng.comnsewstage2_3.asp

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