Build Your Own Weather Station

Build Your Own Weather Station Activity Source: “Build Your Own Weather Station,”, 2005. Adapted with permission. Background 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. [Read More]

Climate and Temperature

Climate and Temperature Activity Source: Soil Science Society of America. Adapted with permission. There are many factors that combine to form soil, an important, slowly renewable resource. Some of these factors include climate, organisms, relief, parent material, and time. Soil provides the food, fiber, and building materials to nourish, clothe, and house Earth’s inhabitants. How does climate help soil to form? In warm, moist climates such as those in tropical rainforests, organic (formerly living) material breaks down most quickly. [Read More]

Dangerous Atmosphere

Dangerous Atmosphere Activity Source: Adapted with permission by The Weather Channel. Background How much of a danger does severe weather pose for the area where you live? You can compute the answer yourself in the exercise below. You may want to divide up tasks 6-13, one per student, and then compare results. Materials A computer with Internet access Paper and pen to record findings Procedure 1. Identify your state and county. [Read More]

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Activity Source: Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development. Adapted with permission. In Swords into Plowshares: At Home in a Missile Silo, Tony Crossley says of his underground home: “The winters are bitterly cold, the summers feature spectacular afternoon thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes, and throughout the year we get days when the wind is very strong. Underground it’s always quiet and peaceful, and no matter how cold it gets outside, the interior never freezes, even though we don’t have any heating yet. [Read More]

Exploring Climate Change with GIS

Exploring Climate Change with GIS Activity Source: ESRI. Adapted with permission. Earth’s climate is a product of and is affected by many things—and it’s changing. Long-term and short-term processes, such as plate tectonics and volcanism, contribute to climate. Likewise, human influences, such as rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel burning and deforestation, play active roles. The expression of climate change is seen in a variety of forms: Erratic weather patterns and rising sea levels are among the most discussed. [Read More]

Greenhouse in a Beaker

Greenhouse in a Beaker Activity Source: Adapted with permission by The NEED Project. Carbon is naturally found in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, or CO2, itself is not considered a pollutant. The CO2 being released from burning fossil fuels was part of the atmosphere hundreds of millions of years ago before being captured by plants and sea organisms. Carbon atoms naturally cycle through the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the lithosphere in process known as the carbon cycle. [Read More]

It’s the “Rain,” Man

It’s the “Rain,” Man Activity Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Adapted with permission. People find inspiration in many different places and things. Among them is taking joy in sensing the Earth around you. Feel the breeze on your face. Take in the fresh smell of the air after a spring rain. Use your hands to build something. Wherever you live you can get outside, savor your surroundings and observe what makes up the rhythms of the place you live. [Read More]

Look Up!

Look Up! Activity Source: Adapted with permission by The Weather Channel. To learn to read, write, and appreciate language and communication, it’s helpful to find subject matter that’s appealing, inspiring, and personal. The sky is a never-ending source of material that is available everyday to everyone. Get ready to set a course for sky exploration! The following activity is designed to help you learn to listen, read, and communicate in both written and oral formats about the sky. [Read More]

Make a Thunderstorm

Make a Thunderstorm Activity Source: Adapted from UCAR/NCAR Web Weather for Kids Background Even small thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people than tornadoes each year. Thunderstorms also cause heavy rain, flash flooding, hail, strong winds and tornadoes. When warm and cold air masses meet, a thunderstorm can grow. In this activity, you will learn about convection and how air moves. Time Needed One class period [Read More]

Mapping the Atmosphere

Mapping the Atmosphere Activity Source: American Meteorological Society. Adapted with permission. A map can represent data from an area on a flat surface. The part of our Earth system most frequently mapped is the atmosphere. Weather—the state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time—needs constant monitoring because it perpetually changes as weather systems evolve and move. Awareness of what the weather is and is likely to be has numerous benefits. [Read More]