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A Changing World: Workshop on Climate Change by Pooja Choksi

November 3, 2014 • Posted in: News, Pench Maharashtra Workshops, Workshops

Our planet as it once began has been constantly undergoing changes. The only difference between the changes taking place in the last few centuries and those before that is that now these changes are instigated by man’s actions.

The students know one thing like a gospel truth: life cannot exist without oxygen. It was time to however introduce them to other atmospheric gases playing equally significant roles in the upkeep of our planet.

Students understanding the task at hand. The atmosphere consists of 78 per cent nitrogen, 21 per cent oxygen and 1 per cent of all other gases and water vapour. The students were meant to correctly label the pie chart.

Students understanding the task at hand. The atmosphere consists of 78 per cent nitrogen, 21 per cent oxygen and 1 per cent of all other gases and water vapour. The students were meant to correctly label the pie chart.

The students were meant to label a pie chart with the gases they feel make up the atmosphere. Their options ranged from the much loved oxygen, despicable carbon dioxide to the innocuous (in the eyes of the students) nitrogen and many others. The answers were amusing. Some students guessed that 78% of the atmospheric gases consisted of oxygen while some thought it was the ozone that made up 78%. Yes, we too do not like explosions caused by huge quantities oxygen; worry not, all misconceptions were cleared!

Students labelling their pie charts in groups.

Students labelling their pie charts in groups.

The reaction of the students when Pooja said "Let's not blow up our planet with all that oxygen!"

The reaction of the students when Pooja said “Let’s not blow up our planet with all that oxygen!”

To understand the influence of our actions, the students were taken through the green house effect. The Earth has a unique atmosphere that sustains life. Without the green house gases, life as we know it wouldn’t exist. It is thanks to the carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, ozone and other atmospheric gases that trap the Sun’s heat that we have the privilege of enjoying our cup of coffee in the morning or even taking that evening stroll in the park.

The Sun's 'heat' ready to attack the atmosphere.

The Sun’s ‘heat’ ready to attack the atmosphere.

With the students representing atmospheric gases and Sun’s heat, they played a quick catch- and- cook session. With just the right quantity of ‘gases’, excess heat from the Sun had a chance to escape. The objective of understanding the significance of these gases couldn’t be conveyed in a more entertaining way! Next, Pooja increased the number of students representing gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. The result- more heat trapped in our atmosphere. This marks the beginning of a predicament the governments are still trying to contend with.

On your marks, get set....

On your marks, get set….

Go!

Go!

Our 'gases' and 'water vapour' trapping the 'heat'!

Our ‘gases’ and ‘water vapour’ trapping the ‘heat’!

Thus, this game brought us to the next question: how are we tampering with our atmosphere? A quick use of the word ‘carbon’ gave the students the impetus they needed to identify the activities that are challenging this lovely, benign atmosphere we have. Moreover, with all this heat in the atmosphere, what could the outcome be? The students were taken through the effects of climate change.

A review of a world map to scan countries to be first affected due to climate change marked the end to slightly gloomy subject at hand.

Analysing the causes and effects of climate change across the world.

Analysing the causes and effects of climate change across the world.

We are not losing hope as yet! Here is to sustainable solutions and prompt actions at the Climate Summit coming up in December!

Photo Credits: Monica Szczupider

(If students can’t reach the E-Base, not a problem, we can reach out to them. Workshops on the Maharashtra side of the Pench Tiger Reserve began in July 2014. With a modified E-Base program, we take the workshops, projects and even a library to the doorstep of these students in Maharashtra. With an audience of close to 180 students this year, we are sure to make a lasting impact and continue growing as the years pass. The enthusiasm and curiousity displayed by the students in Maharashtra make every effort we take to travel for hours to reach the schools in Pench, Maharashtra worth it.

Keep up with our blog as we continue to travel to different ends of the forest of Pench to reach out to a wider audience to aggrandize our impact, thereby aggrandizing the effort to save the tiger and its home.)

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