Lesson 3 Activity 2 - Run more experiments

In this activity students will run an experiment using the model they have modified by altering the amount of CO2 entering the system from the factory. Students will have freedom to design their own experiments and there are many options, from simple to more complex experiments (particularly if students have added in sliders).
  • Design your experiment
  • Run your experiment
  • Collect and analyze data from your experiment
  • Reflect on what you learned

Design your experiment.

  • Use the Experimental Design form as a guide and guide students as they develop a scientific question in pairs. Emphasize the need to run replicates and to clearly identify the variables, as well as the difference between a question and a testable question. Refer to the example in Lesson 2 as a guide.

Run your experiment

  • Run your experiment in pairs so the question can be answered. Which variable will you be changing? What range? How many trials at each setting? This information should be written into your template documents before beginning. 
  • Example simple experiment: Run the experiment for 400 ticks without adding CO2. Hit forever to pause it. Write down the temperature from the data box. Hit run factory, then hit forever. CO2 is now present. Run for 400 ticks. Pause. Write down the temperature. Hit run factory, then forever, and run again for 400 ticks. Repeat the process until you reach approximately 2400 ticks. Then, clear everything and repeat the whole experiment as many times as you think you should. This experiment is just an example. The number of ticks could be changed, a slider could be added to modify how much CO2 is emitted by the factory, or the number of factories created, among many others, and then these could be the basis for this or future experiments.

Collect and analyze data from your experiment

  • Using the instrumentation in the model (the graph and the data boxes) to monitor temperature under the different scenarios you are testing. Record the data. Look for patterns in your data [draw a graph and/or make a table, record observations].
  • Graph your data points. Do you notice any trend? Did temperature increase, decrease or stay the same over time? What can you say now about your testable idea? ● Share out your experiment and results with the class.


Upload your experimental design form and a link to your model to your portfolio in the section "SL Nova Projects- Earth" under the heading "Greenhouse Gases model with Factory and CO2".