Have you ever heard of something called carbon? You might know it’s in the world around you but not really understand what it is. In The Adventures of Carbon you’ll meet Carbon Cal, one of many carbon atoms on our planet, and travel with him as he journeys around (and above!) the earth. You’ll learn that he meets up with other atom friends to form different types of molecules, such as carbon dioxide in the air, sugar in living things, fossil fuels in the ground, and even bicarbonate in the ocean. You’ll get to know Carbon Cal so well that you’ll even be able to figure out where he might be hiding the next time you take a walk in your neighborhood!

Mini-course is provided as a 29-page PDF including a Science Tool Kit page to collect your badges.

Prefer a printed mini-course? The Adventures of Carbon is also available as a beautiful workbook here on Amazon.com.

Course Contents

  • Story: Carbon Cal Travels the World. Join Carbon Cal as he takes on his many forms—from carbon dioxide to sugar to calcium carbonate—on his trip around the world.
  • Activity 1: Where Does Carbon Cal Belong? Cut out Carbon Cal’s different forms and glue them in the correct places.
  • Activity 2: Can You Be Carbon Cal? Can your friends guess which form of carbon you are acting out?
  • Activity 3: It’s a Carbon Cycle Race! Race around the game board provided and collect cards from each of Carbon Cal’s favorite hangouts. Who will collect all the cards first?
  • Activity 4: Make COin Your Kitchen! Use baking yeast to learn how (almost) all living things breathe out carbon dioxide!
  • Curiosity Connector. Links to fun activities and videos to learn more about where carbon is found in the world around us.
  • Tools for Your Tool Kit. See if you can answer all the questions about Carbon Cal and his many forms to earn Tools for your Science Tool Kit.
  • Glossary. Learn cool definitions for words such as respiration, photosynthesis, and fossil fuels.


Materials Needed

Scissors, glue, small objects for board game (rocks, figurines), one coin, three to five packets of active dry yeast, narrow-mouthed plastic or glass bottle, balloon, measuring cup (for pouring), warm water, kitchen thermometer, sugar, salt


Concepts and Ideas

The Adventures of Carbon includes the following Disciplinary Core Ideas as described in the Next Generation Science Standards:

Biogeology (ESS2.E), Natural Resources (ESS3.A), Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems (LS2.A), Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms (LS1.C), Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems (LS2.B).

Scientific Expert  Valerie Grosso

Illustrations by Veronique Latimer.