Climate Change / Global Warming Science Demonstrations, Activities and Labs

Let's be sure the labs & demonstrations we recommend to fellow educators get the science right!
Resources: Science Demonstrations Powerful Role in History and Education
Industry Lobbyists in Classrooms, Museums and Science Aquariums
Hands-on Science Avoiding Flawed Demos > Greenhouse Effect > Resources

home -- climate change

Avoiding Flawed

Greenhouse Effect

Faulty Demos
Errors, Misconceptions
Testing, Lab Results
Scientifically Strong

I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand
--Chinese Proverb

This web portal
is a resource within
America's online library
for Education &
Research in Science,
Technology, Engineering,

Importance, Necessity and Power of Science Demonstrations -- Throughout History, and in Education
Hands-on demonstrations, Labs, Experiments, Investigations, and Activities

History of Science and Society: Demonstration Experiments: Beyond the Talking Head
National Science Teachers Association: The Integral Role of Laboratory Investigations in Science Instruction
California Science Teachers Association: State board adopts revised materials criteria, declines to limit hands-on materials
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory: What are the benefits of hands-on learning? How do I justify a hands-on approach?

Throughout history, demonstrations have played a forceful role in resolving major controversies in society.
Hard evidence -- testable, widely reproducible, accessible -- packs tremendous power, as it should.
Eratosthenes, Alhazen, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, John Tyndall, Wright Bros, Marie Curie, The Manhattan Project, Neil Armstrong
Without public demonstrations, would the power of their discoveries have been believed; would society have taken them seriously?
Today, with climate change, it is essential to insist on hands-on science that is both dramatic and scientifically sound.
Divining rod demos will not do. Making basic climate science demonstrations available now can help prevent mass destruction, misery, suffering, and financial losses.
Quality demos presented now are fun, exciting, informative, inspiring and empower the public to mobilize to solve problems.
We needn't wait for nature to provide all the demos for us; as the opportunities to act on the science continue to pass. Those demos would be no fun at all.
Where museums, aquariums, schools or mobile programs do not provide vetted labs and the opportunity for hands-on investigation and experimentation, then it could be argued:
perhaps authentic quality public science education is absent in that city/area/region.

Examples, Discussion of Flawed, Hidden and/or Corrupting Influences in Climate and Energy Science Education

Climate Science Watch -- October, 13, 2010 -- by Alexa Jay
California’s new state-issued energy textbook avoids climate change, puts coal on par with solar and wind

Climate Science Watch -- December 23, 2010 -- by Alexa Jay
Corporate funding in public education – is anyone watching?

Washington Post -- June 2, 2011 -- by Kevin Sieff
Energy industry shapes lessons in public schools

San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, Sacramento Bee -- August 19, 2011 -- California Watch
Plastic bag lobbying group influences curriculum

San Francisco Chronicle -- August 24, 2011 -- California Watch
State taking harder look at plastic bag curriculum

Resources and Background
This subsection will be filled in much further during early 2012.
This will serve as a platform for valuable resources that do not appear elsewhere on the web --
that relate to hands-on demonstrations on "the greenhouse effect" and global heating by CO2.

It will also provide background and supplemental notes.

Background Notes to Follow, on these and other topics
Alarm has been sounded for years. Feedback, peer review by experienced scientists and educators largely ignored
More magic tricks: How to "demonstrate" that helium is a greenhouse gas; make your brain disappear; how bathtub water spins backwards in Australia.
Strong, vetted, hands-on, evidence-based, science education not supported, has been discouraged. Flooding the field with disreputable demos.
Science demonstrations in history: major, indispensible role in resolving issues of societal controversy and what is / is not taken seriously.
Applause for those who recognize honest errors. In science, everyone makes mistakes sometimes. We all learn from the process of correcting errors.
Recommended paths toward ever better demos: scientifically sound, safe, involving, relatively inexpensive, highly scalable.
Flawed demos do have value -- as learning opportunities. Can students do the detective work to discover the errors in the lab?
General Analysis, Conclusions--including: similarities with difference between nuclear fusion (very real) & "cold fusion" (famous erroneous demo claim)

Introduction and Index
Faulty demonstrations being heavily promoted -- over a dozen examples
Errors and misconceptions commonly found in flawed demonstrations
Testing the demos, mistakes revealed -- lab & field results from scientists and hundreds of students & teachers

Scientifically strong demonstrations engaging millions. Powerful, fun, dramatic, unforgettable.
>>  Resources & Further Background <<
Encouraging rebuttal: welcoming sponsor-promoters to defend if demos are scientifically valid.
Testing the evidence for everyone to see, experience for themselves -- that's what has made science demonstrations so very powerful in history

Acknowledgements, Thank You's            Contact

2011 Climate Education Specialists, since 1999
We are a team of teachers, docents, scientists, engineers, techs, artists, students and parents providing
pro bono services for thousands of climate education programs worldwide. While primarily based at science museums
and the University of California, we work with hundreds of schools, programs and science institutions around the world
to strengthen the climate education community.  If we should be working with you too, let us know.

For over ten years: we have been designing, developing and presenting hands-on science demonstrations for 100,000's of participants.
Sharing experiences, mutual learning with science education programs worldwide..
If you are part of designing, teaching, presenting and/or supporting sound science hands-on demonstrations on climate change, perhaps we should be working together.