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The Greenhouse Effect

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The Greenhouse Effect

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Along the shelves of Thomas Strawn’s Environmental Science class, an assortment of plastic and cardboard structures are waiting patiently for their final touches. Bright puff balls, piles of plastic, and dried up glue are the only items that remain after creating miniature models of greenhouses.

The greenhouse effect is a natural process that traps the sun’s warmth in a planet’s lower atmosphere and is either held and radiated by greenhouse gases, or reflected back in to space. In Mr. Strawn’s class, the students learned how to take this natural process and make a smaller, though equally effective model.

“We were learning about the atmosphere, and so the purpose of the Greenhouse was for the students to create a model,” Mr. Strawn said,  “something hands on that they could deal with to see a similarity in how the atmosphere functions and how the gases in the greenhouse function in order to keep the Earth warm enough for us to survive.”

Students used foam boards, dowel rods, and recyclable materials, like cardboard to build the greenhouses and chose from plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or paper for the walls.

“The most creative one consisted of lots of decorations and bright colors in the shape of a pyramid. However, the most detailed one was actually built in the shape of a house,” he said. “I mean, if you were to put a roof on it, you could really tell it was well built.”

Mr. Strawn said he was impressed that almost all of the greenhouses worked. Consequently, the goal of the entire greenhouse effect was strategically conveyed through their efficiency. .

“Almost all of the projects kept their temperature between 25 to 30 degrees, which is the objective; not too hot, but not too cold,” he said. “Then again, some seemed to forget that plants need sunlight, so they covered the entire structure!”

After many tiresome weeks and exponential progress, Mr. Strawn is thrilled with the creative outcome and success of the projects.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen the kids in my class actually work that diligently on anything we’ve done all year,” he said. “They all took to it and really did a good job.”

 

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The Greenhouse Effect