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Project Drawdown


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Data

Regional Focus


Engineered Sinks

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  • This article is a sector summary that defines and examines engineered sinks as one category of possible solutions for the issue of excess greenhouse gases, primarily focusing on biochar.
  • The article provides a link to related data that comprehensively discusses the benefits and limitations of biochar production, as well as the impact of this method of carbon sequestration.
Teaching Tips


  • Although the article is brief, it will introduce students to this emerging emissions solution sector.
  • This introductory summary lays the groundwork for teachers to plan a comprehensive unit based on engineering solutions to climate change issues.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers may wish to briefly discuss and define engineered sinks before assigning the article.
  • Since the vocabulary is rigorous, a definition list will be helpful.
  • Teachers and students will need internet access.
  • Teachers can share the article via social media.


  • Teachers in English classes can use this article as the starting point for a lesson about problems and solutions.
  • This article can supplement a science lesson regarding human impacts on the environment and the growing mindset of engineering solutions to climate change problems.
  • Since biochar is a topic throughout the article and also in the accompanying link to a more in-depth analysis, teachers may wish to have a piece of charcoal on hand as a visual aid.
Scientist Notes
This resource from Project Drawdown discusses engineered sinks for carbon dioxide, specifically biochar. Biochar is a soil amendment technique created through the pyrolysis of biomass without oxygen. It can sequester carbon when buried in the soil and enhance soil fertility. This resource is well-sourced and recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas, themes, or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
      • RST.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas, themes, or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • Related Resources


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