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Why is it Hotter at the Equator?
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The students investigate the heating effects of light striking a surface at ...

The students investigate the heating effects of light striking a surface at angles varying from 0 to 90 degrees. Temperature data is collected over time and graphed. They gather and analyze data and explain how direct light at the Equator results in a warmer climate. Students describe temperature patterns at locations poleward from the Equator. This illustrates the heat differential on Earth based on the angle of incoming sunlight at latitudes north and south of the equator. Questions and follow-up activities are provided. Suggested follow-up activities include writing about the temperature patterns and gathering climate and weather data from other sources to compare to their experiment. A PDF document of the entire activity includes student sheets. The instructions state that it would take 60 minutes to complete the activity. Please note: Teachers should experiment with the setup and the covering of the thermometers because the top of the vertical thermometer is closer to the light than the others and it may impact the results.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA