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A question of climate

Through a series of lab-based activities and demonstrations, students will investigate the chemical reactions behind the carbon cycle.

Who is it for: Key stage 3
Duration: 90 minutes
Life's climate challenge workshop covers the climate cycle with students. Image shows a parched Earth landscape with dehydrated soil and tree.

Can science help solve the climate crisis?

What is the carbon cycle and how is human activity changing it? What impact is this having on our climate and our oceans. And how might science offer some solutions? 

Through a series of lab-based activities and demonstrations students will investigate the chemical reactions behind the carbon cycle. They will discover how human activity is changing the movement of carbon through the cycle and the impact this is having on the atmosphere and the oceans. At the end of the workshop students will see a dramatic presentation of real satellite data displayed on our magnificent digital Science On A Sphere and learn how scientists are using this data to study the causes and impact of climate change.

This workshop will not be available to book in December 2024. See details of alternative seasonal workshops during this period. 

Curriculum links

Key stage 3
  • Properties & changes of materials
  • Working scientifically

By the end of the workshops students will have discovered:

Recycling icon.

How carbon is constantly cycling around the world - moving from gaseous, solid, and liquid phases - through processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, and combustion.

Planet earth icon.

How the balance of the carbon cycle has been disturbed by human activities leading to a build-up of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Wave icon.

How this build-up of atmospheric carbon dioxide is causing the oceans to become more acidic, and what impact this may have upon biodiversity and the climate.

Satellite icon.

How satellites are being used to study the impact of human activity on the climate and the oceans.