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Environmental Pollution: The effect of carbon dioxide on plant growthFeatured science projectScience project video


Global warming occurs when greenhouse gases in the planetís atmosphere trap and retain heat, altering the earthís climate. Plants are affected by higher greenhouse gas levels, even though they consume carbon dioxide and sunlight to make energy. This science project encourages students to compare the growth of a plant under natural conditions with a plant that has been exposed to extra carbon dioxide.


Based on the description of photosynthesis above, do you think a plant surrounded by more carbon dioxide will grow faster or slower?


To connect carbon dioxide emissions to plant growth and global warming / pollution.

Scientific Terms

Carbon dioxideOxygenPhotosynthesisSugarGlobal warmingGreenhouse gasesFossil fuelsWater vapor


Plants process carbon dioxide (CO2) into energy using photosynthesis. Humans and other animals expel carbon dioxide when we breathe out. The oxygen we breathe to sustain life largely comes from plants' photosynthesis process, which turns toxic carbon dioxide into breathable air for humans.

Oxygen is not the only product created during photosynthesis. Plants get their energy from carbon dioxide because they convert it into sugar, which they use for food. Plants love to "eat" the sugar, which allows them to grow larger because it gives them energy for growth.

The sun's energy is required for photosynthesis.

Global warming occurs when greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide absorb extra heat from the atmosphere, raising the ambient temperature. Global warming is thought to be caused by humans' use of fossil fuels, including burning coal and using gasoline in our cars. Water vapor also traps heat in the atmosphere. In this system, we will create a replica of an atmosphere using two-liter bottles. We will examine whether plants grow faster in the carbon dioxide-rich environment or the normal environment.

We will make our own carbon dioxide by combining baking soda and vinegar, which gives off CO2 gas.

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    Approximately 1 hour to complete initial set-up, with 15 to 30 minutes daily observation and discussion for five days.
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