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GNS Teacher Helps Create Study Guide for Carbon Movie

Senior School
GNSGNS photo
Poster for the movie

Ms. Erin Dallin, Coordinator of Academic Programming and IB DP Chemistry teacher, recently helped create a Canadian study guide for the movie Carbon – The Unauthorized Biography. The movie tells the story of carbon, how it’s involved in climate change, how it’s inside everyone and how it can be villainized. The documentary is narrated by actress Sarah Snook, one of the stars of HBO’s Succession, and features experts such as Niel Degrasse Tyson, Tamara Davis and Suzanne Simard.

“I wanted to be part of this because I believe in the cause,” said Ms. Dallin. “We aren’t going to make any changes unless our youth know what is going on—and I think they know more than most adults. It’s yet another opportunity to showcase why these ideas are important and why we need to have scientifically literate children. Also, there is a lot of science that is being developed that can address some of the problems, and when you show it to younger kids it can inspire them to want to focus on that in their future.”

In May 2022, Dr. Niobe Thompson, a GNS parent, shared a special screening of the film in Denford Hall with science students. Dr. Thompson is the co-director, co-producer and executive producer of the film.

“There was a study guide previously published in Australia, but Niobe wanted to Canadian-ize it,” explained Ms. Dallin. “We wanted to add things about the Prairies and the local habitats we have here. Last summer I put it together and now it’s available to Canadian teachers.”

The guide is mapped so teachers in BC, Alberta and Ontario can look at the curricular requirements for each province and grade level that are applicable to the film, and obtain pre-made worksheets and content to support them in their teaching.

“It’s designed for chemistry, general science, biology and environmental science,” said Ms. Dallin. “Some material for individuals and societies, specifically geography is included, too, but it’s mostly science. It’s really well suited to Middle School, although there are some sections that secondary school students can appreciate as well.”

The film is available on CBC Gem, where anyone can watch it.

“The film is pretty spectacular, it has some people in it that are amazing,” added Ms. Dallin.