Last updated: July 22, 2020

Math Skill: Interpreting circle graphs 

Science Area: Pollution / Weather and Climate

Grade level: 3rd4th grades

Area level: State-scale

Environmental Area: Air / Climate change

Purpose: Understand major sources of carbon dioxide emissions and their share in Indiana and develop awareness of greenhouse gas emissions


Climate scientists point out that the increased amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere has led to climate change. A study from NASA showed that, since the Industrial Revolution began in about 1750, carbon dioxide, one of the major greenhouse gases, increased by 38%, while methane, another major greenhouse gas, increased by 148%.

It has been identified that the increase of the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has contributed to many changes such as warmer average temperature on Earth, climate change, and sea level rise. Carbon dioxide (CO2) makes up the largest portion of greenhouse gases in our nation, about 81%, created by human activities (Energy Information Administration (EIA). Carbondioxide can be produced from a variety of human activities, such as burning fossil fuels for energy generation, transportation, and heating buildings, cutting down carbon-absorbing forests for agriculture, and disposing of waste in landfills.

Transportation and electric power are the two major sources of CO2emissions in our nation. About one third of CO2  was emitted from the electric power sector in the United States. In Indiana,about half of the CO2emissions came from the electric power sector.(EIA, Table 4).

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 8.47.01 AM

U.S. CO2emissions by economic sector, 2017  (EIA, Table 4)

In Indiana, about half of the CO2 emissions came from the electric power sector (EIA, Table 4).

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 8.36.22 AM

Indiana’s CO2 emissions by economic sector, 2017 (EIA, Table 4)


The purpose of this activity is to improve students’ skills in data analysis and number operations through interpreting graphs while giving them an idea who produces how much CO2 in Indiana.  This activity is created based on data obtained from the Energy Information Administration (Table 4).

worksheet & answer key

Math Skill: Interpreting circle graphs 

Using the circle graph that shows the share of CO2 emissions of economic sectors in Indiana in 2017, students are asked to solve problems related to the graph, including a problem that asks the sector with the largest/least share.

Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 8.54.09 AM