Hurricanes are among the most common and most destructive types of natural hazards on Earth. Because they occur across space and time, hurricanes can be better understood using maps, particularly digital maps within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) environment. GIS allows you to use maps as analytical tools—not maps that someone else has made—but using your own maps to make decisions.
How much precipitation falls in your area? To find out, use the instructions below to create your own rain gauge. Then head outside to measure rainfall in your neighborhood.
Atmospheric scientists study weather processes, the global dynamics of climate, solar radiation and its effects, and the role of atmospheric chemistry in ozone depletion, climate change, and pollution. They observe what's going on in our atmosphere today and compare it to records from years past. To monitor the weather, atmospheric scientists use highly specialized instruments that measure rainfall, wind speed and direction, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. You can measure these at your home or school. Begin creating a weather station by building a psychrometer, also called a hygrometer, to measure the relative humidity.
Learn how Earth's climate effects soil types all over the planet.
How much of a danger does severe weather pose for the area where you live? You can compute the answer yourself in this exercise.
The ocean is the key element in Earth's hydrologic cycle (water cycle). Students will construct a simple model of the hydrologic cycle to help them visualize and understand the movement of liquid water and heat.
In this activity, you will select the scientific instruments for your satellite, calculate the power requirements for all the subsystems, and construct a scale model of your very own Earth observing satellite.
Learn the dangers of flooding in this activity, where students explore soil porosity and permeability.
Glaciers can create lakes, valleys and areas known as kettle marshes. Their weight and movement are the tools a glacier uses to shape the landscape. Use this experiment to look at small "glaciers" and how they shape the landscape around them.
Static electricity can be used to demonstrate the electricity of lightning. This activity will demonstrate the attraction of positive and negative charges and what happens when those opposite charges meet each other.