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Paleontological Research Institution


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 37 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

How to Make a CO2 Flux Chamber

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  • This video from the Paleontological Research Institution shows students how to make a flux chamber to measure carbon dioxide for a photosynthesis and respiration experiment. 
  • Students will see all the materials displayed and a simple how-to guide for building the flux chamber. 
Teaching Tips


  • The materials are easy for teachers to source and are displayed in the video.
  • The instructions are easy to follow.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The flux chambers can be used for this experiment on respiration or this photosynthesis experiment.
  • While most of the materials for the flux chamber are everyday items, teachers will need to purchase or borrow a carbon dioxide probe to use for the experiments.


  • Students can design and test their experiments using the flux chambers.
  • Students can analyze the importance of being able to measure carbon dioxide levels in a specific area.
  • Other resources related to the carbon cycle include this video about how carbon dioxide gets into and out of the atmosphere, this game to help students visualize the carbon cycle, and this interactive book chapter with resources and data on short and long-term carbon cycles.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a step-by-step guide on how to create your own carbon dioxide flux chamber using everyday materials. These flux chambers can be used, in conjunction with a CO2 monitor, to do experiments that measure the output of carbon dioxide from a photosynthesizing plant. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-6. Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
    • LS2: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Within Ecosystems
      • HS-LS2-5. Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
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