By Caroline Preston, Photo: Caroline Preston/The Hechinger Report, The Washington Post, November 5, 2022
There was one minute left on Suzanne Horsley’s stopwatch and the atmosphere remained thick with carbon dioxide, despite the efforts of her third graders to clear the air.
Horsley, a wellness teacher at Toll Gate Grammar School, in Pennington, N.J., had directed the kids to toss balls of yarn representing carbon dioxide molecules to their peers stationed at plastic disks representing forests. The first round of the game was set in the 1700s, and the students had cleared the patch of playing field in under four minutes. But this third round took place in the present day, after the advent of cars, factories, electricity and massive deforestation. With fewer forests to catch the balls and longer distances to throw, the gases were accumulating faster than kids could retrieve them.
“That was hard,” said Horsley after the round ended. “In this time period versus the 1700s, way more challenging right?”