Katie Eckersley

High Point Central High School
Guilford County Schools
Mentor: Dr. Keith Schimmel, NC A&T State University
Sponsor: NSF/NOAA

Atmospheric Chemistry

Global warming explains the rising climate temperatures in the last century. Several gases in Earth’s atmosphere contribute to maintaining the warm temperatures on Earth’s surface. Global temperatures are definitely rising, but are they rising naturally or are humans causing the rapid increase? Students seek to answer this question by analyzing real data from a laser lab in which samples of Earth’s atmosphere are analyzed for certain gases that are known to increase heat. Once students learn what gases are present in Earth’s atmosphere, they design an experiment to reduce their emissions of one of these gases. Students conduct this experiment over a three-month period. At the end of those three months, students present a multimedia infomercial describing how their research could be implemented across their city. The goal is for students to have a positive impact on their city and their environment.

Published in 2011.