Last updated: July 22, 2020

Math Skill: Converting from percentages to decimals and fractions 

Science Area: Pollution / Weather and Climate

Grade level: 4th – 5th  grades

Area level: State-scale

Environmental Area: Air / Climate change

Purpose: Understand major sources of carbon dioxide emissions 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).

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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).

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


The purpose of this activity is to improve students’ skills in interpreting bar graphs by using graphs of 1) the 10 largest CO2- emitting states in our nation as of 2017 and 2) the amount of CO2emissions in 12 states of the Midwest as of 2017. Through reading the graphs, students will get the idea that Indiana is one of the largest CO2 – emitting states in the United States. Both graphs are created based on the data obtained from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA).


worksheet & answer key

Math Skill: Converting from percentages to decimals and fractions 

Using the circle graph that shows the share of CO2 emissions of economic sectors in Indiana in 2017, students are asked to convert percentages to decimals and fractions.



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