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Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography (55-min) (ATOM Study Guide)

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SKU: SG1813

With Carbon in the news every day, you might think you know everything about her. But you'd be wrong. We're not at war with Carbon – we are made of Carbon! Yet, paradoxically, the element at the core of life is now the greatest threat to our survival. 

This surprisingly unorthodox and creatively ambitious documentary pulls back the covers on the most talked about but least understood element on the planet. Actor Sarah Snook (Succession) lends a cheeky, powerful and immortal voice to Carbon, spinning the epic saga of how she was born in the violent heart of a star, sparked the earliest life and rode the journeys of evolution, and how she captures the sun’s energy in photosynthesis, fuels our modern world, and keeps our planet’s atmosphere in delicate balance. 

The animations of renowned artist Bruce Alcock (Global Mechanic) trace Carbon's endless journeys, taking us on joyful and surprising rides through her atomic existence, from the formation of DNA to the metabolic circus taking place inside us every second, to million-year cycles from Earth's core to the atmosphere. Jonathan Kawchuk's striking orchestral music underpins the wonder and curiosity we feel as we witness Carbon’s astonishing molecular dance. 

Curriculum Links:

Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography is suitable for secondary students undertaking: 

  • Year 7 – 10 Science 
  • Senior Biology 
  • Senior Chemistry 
  • Senior Physics 
  • Year 7-10 Media Arts 

with further links to the Cross-curricular priority of Sustainability. In addition, the activities found within this Study Guide will have applications across Humanities and Social Sciences – specifically, [Modern] History and Geography – and English. While these activities are arguably unsuited for pure application within these subjects, there are numerous opportunities for cross-curricular collaborations across subjects, particularly in middle school.

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