Carbon Gases CSI: Mobile Lab, Methane & More

Carbon Gases CSI: Mobile Lab, Methane & More

During this module, students take a virtual mobile lab drive with scientists to investigate and learn about atmospheric carbon gases, their sources, and impacts on air quality.

Context for Use

The four DISCOVER-AQ modules can be completed independently, sequentially, or extended into a larger unit of study.

Carbon Gases CSI: Mobile Lab, Methane & More Module 1.4

Image by Chuck Quigley from Pixabay 

Goals Header
What Students Will Do

  • Identify natural and anthropogenic sources of carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) emissions.
  • Connect observed levels of carbon gases from the NOAA Mobile Laboratory drives to some of these sources.

  • Describe the potential impacts of carbon gases on air quality (including human health and the environment).

  • Design solutions for reducing anthropogenic carbon gas emissions.

Teaching Materials

DISCOVER-AQ: Module 1.4 Teacher Guide
DISCOVER-AQ: Module 1.4 Student Guide


The “Know Your AQ” curriculum applies the 5E Instructional Model:

  • Engage (15 minutes) - Scientist Interview & Mobile Lab Introduction

Interest in air quality is generated and students’ current understanding of air pollution is assessed

  • Explore (35 minutes) - Researching Carbon Gases

Students conduct basic research to explore carbon gases related to air quality.

  • Explain (15 minutes) - Carbon Gas Predictions

Students construct their understanding of carbon gas sources and develop evidence-based explanations using carbon gas data.

  • Elaborate (20 minutes) - Carbon Gas Data Analysis

Students deepen and expand their understanding of the relationship between carbon gases and air quality by applying their understanding in terms of atmospheric monitoring.

  • Evaluate (15 minutes) - Carbon Gases & Me Think-Pair-Share

Students and teachers have opportunities to assess students’ understanding of carbon gas sources and their relationship to air quality.

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