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Know Learn Apply

on April 16, 2013

I have learned about the carbon cycle in elementary school. I was taught the basics about photosynthesis and respiration. As I got older I would learn a little more about it but my teachers did not spend too much time going over it. For my college biology courses, I learned about photosynthesis and respiration but not about how carbon is cycled through them. Due to the time constraints and pressures of getting through required chapters for the semester, my professors would highlight what they felt was important for us to learn. The carbon cycle was not one of them.

One thing I found out about myself this semester is I love doing research on anything new. I do this in all aspects of my life. Whenever I am buying something, I find myself on the internet for hours making sure I could find it at the best price and quality. Before starting this course, I did a lot of research on what the carbon cycle is. I did not really understand everything but at least having some knowledge wouldn’t hurt. When the course first started, I had no idea how important carbon was to our environment. I’ve taken organic chemistry and learned all about carbon molecules and what other molecules they bind with. Throughout this course I have been able to relate it to my everyday life and I am able to teach family and friends about it. I learned that carbon we use carbon all day every day. I finally understood the meaning of a carbon footprint and I have been more conscious about lowering my carbon footprint. Before calculating my carbon footprint, I would leave a few on my lights on, let my shower water run for at least 3 minutes before I would get in, most of my appliances would stay plugged into the outlet all day. Now I try to remember to turn off any lights or appliances that are not in use. I usually walk to school but now I also walk to and from the supermarket unless I have heavy items.

At first I felt that teaching highschool students about the carbon cycle would be an impossible task because not every students may feel that it is interesting. As I gained more knowledge and started to care more about our carbon output, I realized that it would not be as impossible as I once thought. When you are passionate about a topic, others will see it and will pay attention to you. Using technology as a teaching tool was a great help. Usually when students learn everything is centered around the teacher. The teacher would give a lecture and also give the students the materials needed to learn a topic (Kolikant,2012). I believe that it is important for a student to gain hands-on experience with a topic so that they could have a better understanding of it. When I taught my students, I engaged them throughout my presentation so that I could gauge their understanding. Using my powerpoint presentation, I used some animations and visuals so that the lecture would not be so dry. When teaching the carbon cycle it is important to speak about the basics, such as the carbon reservoirs, the regulating processes and carbon sources. It is also important to speak about why you and other people should care. You can talk about a subject until you are blue in the face but if you do not show that you care about it, others will not care as well.

After this class is done, I plan to use what I have learned on a daily basis. My mother loves hearing about what I learn in this course. I have already taught them about what a carbon footprint is and how they can decrease theirs. Since my career will be in healthcare, I plan to teach my future patients about how they can maintain a healthy lifestyle through exercise and better eating habits.

I found a video about Chevron dontating over $100 million to schools for science education. This touched me because I remember my love of science started with an elementary school teacher who let my class do really interesting experiments. She taught us to think outside of the box and that there are many ways to get a correct answer. I plan to use that lesson when I become a physician.

Work Cited

Ben-David Kolikant, Yifat. “Using ICT for School Purposes: Is there a Student-School Disconnect?” Computers & Education 59.3 (2012): 907-14.


3 responses to “Know Learn Apply

  1. evancoelm1 says:

    I liked your honestly when you said that you were worried about how big of a challenge it would be to teach the kids this material, providing that it seemed likely they would get bored of it. It turns out that the kids did just the opposite, and I think all of us would agree that they got something out of this. I know your class especially seemed very motivated, and you were always in a great mood when you spoke of them.

  2. entomily says:

    Ann, your zeal is absolutely inspiring, especially with the knowledge of how worried you were about teaching. I think you would serve as an excellent doctor with patients who are well informed. I was most impressed when you called me to talk about teaching!

  3. mariahdavis says:

    Your cartoon is funny. I felt that way too. About how the carbon cycle wasn’t stressed in school. I definitely knew the hydrologic cycle growing up. You make a good point about how if you are passionate about something then others will want to listen to you. I could feel that from the students. Your patients are going learn a lot from you.

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