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A view from inside the biome with the sunset showing through

School Workshop: Investigating Carbon Storage in Tropical Rainforest Trees

In this KS5 workshop your students measure the carbon stored in Eden’s Rainforest Biome and statistically compare it to carbon stored in a plot in the real rainforest, linking this to climate change mitigation.

Workshop overview

We have developed this fieldwork investigation in partnership with rainforest scientists from the University of Exeter. As a result of this collaboration your students have the unique opportunity to replicate the real data collection techniques and calculations used by scientists in the world’s rainforests.

In addition, they are able to statistically compare their primary data with secondary data from a real tropical rainforest Caxiuana, Brazil. Students also gain an understanding of what life is like at the pointy end of research into tropical rainforests and the significance of this for climate change mitigation.

What happens in the workshop

We begin in the classroom by outlining the role that forests play in carbon sequestration. The students then discuss how we could go about measuring and calculating how much carbon is stored in a particular tree and then trial the agreed methodology using the eucalyptus tree growing outside the classroom. The methodology used has been designed in partnership with rainforest scientists from the University of Exeter.

A close up of inside the rainforest biome with green leaves and the top of the biome on show

The students then visit the Rainforest Biome to measure and calculate the carbon stored in a selection of trees from the biome. Upon their return to the classroom the students statistically compare (t-test) the amount of carbon stored in the large trees in Eden’s Rainforest Biome with those from the rainforest in Caxiuana, Brazil. This secondary dataset has been provided by rainforest scientists from the University of Exeter.

Students are asked to explain their findings linking to the physical conditions in the tropical Rainforest. We highlight the importance of large rainforest trees in terms of climate change mitigation, within the context of selective logging, as well as discussing initiatives developed to conserve tropical rainforests.

Deputy Head review

Bodmin College

“The work was perfectly pitched for my year 13 class with a focused and relevant topic area that made use of the resources available at Eden. The students had a fun and extremely worthwhile experience.”

Practical information

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