Nature-based solutions to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere

April 20 – 26, 2021

Oksana Okulova

Aim of the project: this project has several objectives, such as: 1. Raising students’ awareness of the causes and factors of carbon dioxide pollution and related human health problems 2. Improving students’ knowledge of NBS, analysis, research and practical application of knowledge to solve local problems (plant trees near the school and in the local forestry).

 Students watch videos and update knowledge about carbon dioxide, its properties (qualities) and effects on human health, greenhouse effect, photosynthesis.

Students work in groups of 3-5. In teams, students take a test in the Kahoot.

 They determine the concentration of carbon dioxide in the classroom (at the beginning of the lesson and at the end) and on the school grounds. The concentration of carbon dioxide is determined by the chemical method (students used syringes with a volume of 100 ml, beaker, 20 ml of 0.005% aqueous sodium carbonate solution with phenolphthalein). And use the Einstein laboratory. Students also determine the area of ​​the classroom to calculate whether the concentration of carbon dioxide meets the permissible sanitary norms. Carbon dioxide is not considered a toxic substance. However, if the volume fraction of this gas in the air reaches 0.25%, a person begins to feel short of breath. Today, a person spends a lot of time indoors: schoolchildren and students in classes and classrooms with a capacity of more than 20 people, adults spend up to eight or more working hours at work. In a room where there are many people, the air is heavy. There is a feeling that there is not enough oxygen. However, in reality this is not the case at all. The concentration of oxygen in the air is normal, and the concentration of carbon dioxide is significantly increased.

 Students present the results of research, draw conclusions about the factors that increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the classroom (large number of students, insufficient ventilation, plastic windows). Students draw conclusions about the creation of more favorable hygienic conditions (through ventilation, the presence of green plants). The results of the team’s work are presented in Canva, which are then combined into one general presentation Sway.

Students calculate and determine how many trees near the school are needed to absorb all the carbon dioxide emitted by breathing and burning fuel by cars and compare with the measurement results.

To visualize the problem, students create a model in the Scratch

The model was created using data on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by one car per kilometer and the amount of carbon dioxide consumed by one tree per hour and day. The model is convenient because you can change the parameters – add the number of trees, change the car model, enter other modes of transport and more.

According to the calculations:

Conclusion 1: there are 70 trees on the school area, and 169 trees are needed to provide oxygen to people, so trees are not enough more than twice.

Conclusion 2: 105 trees are needed to clean the air from carbon dioxide emitted by school students and staff (the carbon dioxide emitted by the cars was not taken into account) and there are only 70 trees on the school area. Therefore, trees do not completely clean the air of carbon dioxide, which adversely affects health.

Finally, they will create an action plan and invite community leaders to help address the issue.

Students received seedlings of red Canadian oak, fir, spruce, larch from the village council. Students planted these seedlings on the school grounds. At the request of students, they took part in planting forests in the local forestry.

Students noted that it is best to study theoretical material through research. The students felt like an active part of the community.

The fact that the scenario has a practical part was very positive. Useful activities are due to the fact that local events are held: students study issues related to their communities, conduct research, draw up an action plan and implement real projects.

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About ookulova

I am teacher of chemistry from Ukraine. I am working at Ivano - Frankove secondary school Lviv region. I am one of the 20 best teachers in Ukraine according to the Global Teacher Prize Ukraine 2017 and one of the 20 most innovative teachers in Ukraine in 2020.