This is Activity 12 of a set of Level 1 activities designed by the Science Center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (STORM) Project. The authors suggest that previous activities in the unit be completed before Activity 12: Air Masses, including those that address pressure systems and dew point temperature. In Activity 12, the students learn about the four main types of air masses that affect weather in the United States, their characteristic temperatures, and humidity levels as it relates to dew point temperatures. The lesson plan follows the 5E format. Initially, students discuss local weather and then examine surface temperature and dew point data on maps to determine patterns and possible locations of air masses. They learn about the source regions of air masses and compare their maps to a forecast weather map with fronts and pressure systems drawn in. During the Extension phase, students access current maps with surface and dew point temperatures at http://www.uni.edu/storm/activities/level1 and try to identify locations of air masses. They sketch in fronts and compare their results to the fronts map. Evaluation consists of collection of student papers.
Students are introduced to air masses, with an emphasis on the differences between and characteristics of high- versus low-pressure air systems. Students also hear about weather forecasting instrumentation and how engineers work to improve these instruments for atmospheric measurements on Earth and in space.
This is a lesson using Digital Age Skills in Science and Earth Science in Grade 8.
Original Author: Jamie O'Connor, Freeman
Students use a sponge and water model to explore the concept of relative humidity and create a percent scale.
Members of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have designed a suite of atmospheric science learning modules for middle school students. The curriculum, which implements a flipped-classroom model, is cross-referenced with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. It introduces students to topics such as temperature, pressure, severe weather safety, climate change, and air pollution through short instructional videos and critical thinking activities. A goal of this project is to provide middle school science educators with resources to teach while fostering early development of math and science literacy. The work is funded by a National Science Foundation CAREER award. For a complete list of learning modules and to learn more about the curriculum, visit https://www.atmos.illinois.edu/~nriemer/education.html
- Physical Science
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- University of Illinois
- Provider Set:
- University of Illinois Department of Atmospheric Science
- Dr. Nicole Riemer
- Eric Snodgrass
- Tyra Brown
- Date Added:
Students learn about the Foucault pendulum an engineering tool used to demonstrate and measure the Earth's rotation. Student groups create small experimental versions, each comprised of a pendulum and a video camera mounted on a rotating platform actuated by a LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT motor. When the platform is fixed, the pendulum motion forms a line, as observed in the recorded video. When the rotating, the pendulum's motion is observed as a set of spirals with a common center. Observing the patterns that the pendulum bob makes when the platform is rotating provides insight as to how a full-size Foucault pendulum operates. It helps students understand some of the physical phenomena induced by the Earth's rotation, as well as the tricky concept of how the perception of movement varies, depending on one's frame of reference.
Students build and observe a simple aneroid barometer to learn about changes in barometric pressure and weather forecasting.
Students follow weather forecasts to gauge their accuracy and produce a weather report for the class. They develop skills of observation, recording and reporting.
This resource provides guidance on site selection for the GLOBE Atmosphere data collection protocols. Instructions for building an instrument shelter, a snowboard, an ozone measurement station, and a wind direction instrument are included.
- Environmental Science
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- Teaching/Learning Strategy
- UCAR Staff
- Provider Set:
- GLOBE Teacher's Guide NGSS Aligned Records
- The GLOBE Program, UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research)
- Date Added:
The University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and College of Education teamed up to develop free eighth grade science curricula on land use and climate science, in response to Iowa’s grade level alignment of the middle school Next Generation Science Standards.
Primary author Dr. Ted Neal, clinical associate professor of science education, led a team of graduate and pre-service teaching students and CGRER scientists to develop the material. They grouped standards, resources and lesson material into six bundles, each designed to engage Iowa’s middle schoolers with local data and information on relevant topics like athletic concussions and agriculture.
These lessons are built on NGSS principles and put learning in the students’ hands with hands-on activities for groups and individuals. Kids will have ample opportunity to get curious, generate questions and lead themselves to answers.
Helps students develop the idea of air pressure. How high pressure and low pressure affect the development of weather. This lesson explains the ways in which air moves, from a lot to a little, and the effects movement of air can have.
Students learn that wind and storms can form at the boundaries of interacting high and low pressure air masses. They learn the distinguishing features of the four main types of weather fronts (warm fronts, cold fronts, stationary fronts and occluded fronts) and how those fronts are depicted on a surface weather analysis, or weather map. Students also learn several different ways that engineers help with storm prediction, analysis and protection.
This unit explores Performance Expectations MS-ESS2-5 and MS-ESS2-6 to engage students in constructing an explanation through modeling and analyzing data for why so many tornados occur in the United States, and specifically ‘Tornado Alley!
Explore pressure under and above water. See how pressure changes as you change fluids, gravity, container shapes, and volume.
Students are introduced to some essential meteorology concepts so they more fully understand the impact of meteorological activity on air pollution control and prevention. First, they develop an understanding of the magnitude and importance of air pressure. Next, they build a simple aneroid barometer to understand how air pressure information is related to weather prediction. Then, students explore the concept of relative humidity and its connection to weather prediction. Finally, students learn about air convection currents and temperature inversions. In an associated literacy activity, students learn how scientific terms are formed using Latin and Greek roots, prefixes and suffixes, and are introduced to the role played by metaphor in language development. Note: Some of these activities can be conducted simultaneously with the air quality activity (What Color Is Your Air Today?) of Air Pollution unit, Lesson 1.
The kids from the Yard have built a Wind Simulator that helps them see when the wind will pick up. They learn how low and high pressure systems work to create wind.
This lesson will help students understand how to work as a forensic meterologist. Students will watch a short video of an area experiencing increased weather and storms. Through the use of prompts, students will be able to create a model of what they think is happening and then use that pre-model in other lessons to figure out how water and heat from the sun increase stroms.