Our Beautiful Planet: The Climate Secrets of Cows

Our Beautiful Planet is a series of compelling 5-to-7-minute science films highlighting the cutting edge research that climate scientists are doing to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues.

The Climate Initiative, the National Science Teacher’s Associated (NSTA) and Kikim Media have partnered to launch these films and this collection of classroom-ready lesson plans and community activity and discussion guides that highlight the science and engineering practices scientists use to explain the phenomena of climate.

About the film: The Climate Secret of Cows

In California we tell another seaweed story. Biologist Ermias Kebreab, who grew up in the African nation of Eritrea, is zeroing on one of the primary sources of the build-up of the heat-trapping gas methane in the atmosphere: the world’s billion-and-a-half cows. They routinely release methane when they burp; it’s a normal by-product of bovine digestion. Kebreab’s experiment: adding seaweed, which changes cows’ digestive chemistry, into their diet. His initial data: the seaweed-fed cows produced 60% less methane.

NSTA Lesson Plan: How Can A Cow’s Diet Affect The Climate?
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Grade Level: Grade Level: 6-8 | Time: One 90-minute session

TCI & Kikim Media Community Activity & Discussion Guide: Turn this film into a conversation!
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Age Level: Bring all ages together for a community discussion