It's a Gas, Man

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In this activity, learners discover if carbon dioxide has an effect on temperature. Learners compare the temperatures of two bottles filled with water, one with seltzer tablets and one without, when they are both equally exposed to heat from a lamp for an hour. Use this demonstration to introduce learners to global warming, the greenhouse effect, and summer safety precautions. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Two clear 2-liter bottles
  • Two thermometers
  • Molding clay
  • Two seltzer tablets
  • Table top lamp used as source of heat


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
    • Solar System
      • The Planets
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
      • Rate
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
    • Energy
    • States of Matter
      • Gases
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Elements and Periodic Table
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
      • Risks and Benefits
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, National Weather Service,