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Inquiring about Earth’s WeatherBig Idea: Weathershowing page 1-7 out of 7

Inquiring about Earth’s Weather
Big Idea
:
Weather is a snap-shot description of Earth’s atmospheric conditions at a particular
location and at a particular time that is characterized by temperature, humidity, cloud cover,
precipitation, barometric pressure, and wind speed.
Goal
:
To complete several scientific inquires about changing weather conditions at various
locations.
Computer Setup and/or Materials Needed
:
Internet access to
http://www.wunderground.com/history/ (
yes, you need the last slash
)
Phase I:
Exploration
1.
In the
Location
box, enter in your current location for today and complete the first blank
column of the table below. Then, change the date to yesterday and then one year ago today
and complete the remaining two columns.
Location:
TODAY
YESTERDAY
ONE YEAR AGO
TODAY
Maximum Temperature (
using
F
)
59’
64’
68’
32’
43’
52’
32’
Average Humidity (
using %)
79%
90%
68%
Day’s Precipitation (
using inches
)
0.00 in
68 in
0.00 in
Barometric (or Sea Level) Pressure*
29.86 in/hg
29.71 in/hg
30.24 in/hg
Wind Speed (mph)
9 mph
8 mph
1 mph
*
(
using inches Hg
)
2.
For YESTERDAY, make a few rough sketches of how the temperature, barometric pressure,
and wind speed have changed throughout that day.
Be sure to clearly label the vertical axis.
TEMPERATURE
1
PRESSURE
WIND SPEED
3.
Create a written description of today’s weather and how it is different than yesterday’s
weather using several complete sentences
. Be sure to include temperature humidity,
precipitation, pressure, and wind speed.
Phase II – Does the Evidence Match a Given Conclusion?
If a student proposed a generalization that “
the temperature here today is about the same as it
was at this same location on this same date, but back in the year you were born”
would you
agree, disagree with the generalization based on evidence?
Explain your reasoning and provide
specific evidence either from the above questions or from any new evidence you yourself generate using
this web site.
I would disagree, temperature and climate change over time, which would also assume
that temperature in areas rarely varies. As the chart above shows there is a ten-degree
difference between one year, and the pressure is different the only metric that is similar
is the humidity level. Pressures in areas change over time causing different types of
weather, such as when hurricanes are more actively formed in the ocean versus other
times of the year
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mid
night
mid
night
6 pm
noon
6 am
mid
night
mid
night
6 pm
noon
6 am
Phase III – What Conclusions Can You Draw From This Evidence?
Wind is caused when air rapidly moves from one place to another.
What conclusions and
generalizations can you make from the following data collected by a student in terms of
WHAT
TIME OF YEAR IS IT THE MOST WINDY IN LARAMIE, WYOMING?
Explain your
reasoning and provide specific evidence from data, with sketches if necessary, to support your
reasoning
.
Date
(2008)
Average Wind
Speed
(mph)
Wind
Direction
Precipitation
(in.)
Humidity
(%)
Jan 15
21
WNW
Trace Snow
62
Feb 15
4
WSW
0
82
Mar 15
9
South
0
62
Apr 15
22
SW
0
26
May 15
11
NNW
0.02
65
June 15
8
SSE
0
40
July 15
7
South
0
34
Aug 15
6
ENE
0.48
86
Sept 15
6
SSE
0
54
Oct 15
10
SSW
0
57
Nov 15
5
South
0
58
Dec 15
11
SSW
0
62
Evidence-based Conclusion
:
I would generalize that the middle to late winter through middle spring brings the most
wind throughout this part of the city.
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Phase IV – What Evidence Do You Need To Pursue?
Imagine your team has been assigned the task of designing a scientific observation plan for
determining where to build windmills for electricity.
Describe precisely what evidence you
would need to collect in order to answer the research question of, “
Where is it windiest in my
state?”
Create a detailed, step-by-step description of evidence that needs to be collected and a complete
explanation of how this could be done
using this website
—not just “look and see where it is
windiest,” but exactly what would someone need to do, step-by-step, to accomplish this.
You
might include a table and sketches-the goal is to be precise and detailed enough that someone
else could follow your procedure.
1. The first step in the process is to gain wind speeds from around the state. 2. One
would want to divide the state into 4-6 sections and record from central locations within
those predetermined areas. 3. After the wind speeds have been recorded, a clear
section of the state would be determined based on a yearlong wind study. An example
would be as follows. Wind temps for Indianapolis, Indiana 2012 by month. Jan 15 8mph
SSE Feb 15 8mph SSE Mar 15 11mph SSW Apr 15 19mph South May 15 4mph West June
15 4mph ESE July 15 7mph SW Aug 15 3mph SW Sep 15 1mph ENE Oct 15 9mph W Nov
15 3mph NNE Dec 5 6 After you collect all the needed data you can get an accurate
picture of where the windiest areas are and what direction it is coming from so that the
wind tunnels can maximize their energy output.
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Phase V – Formulate a Question, Pursue Evidence, and Justify Your Conclusion
Your task is design an answerable research question, propose a plan to pursue evidence, collect data, and
create an evidence-based conclusion about an aspect of Earth’s weather which you have not completed before.
Research Report
:
1)
Specific Research Question:
Specific Research Question: Plot the locations of a few
major constellations over the course of 12 months.
2)
Step-by-Step Procedure to Collect Evidence:
Step-by-Step Procedure to Collect
Evidence: Pick 3 constellations to track Pick 2 times per day (one day and one
night) and plot their location Plot the location twice per month for 12 months
3)
Data Table and/or Results:
Based on the observations, the stars will be in the same
spot every time. Based on the rotation of the Earth plus the orbit of the Earth, we
see that certain stars are visible at certain times of the year. So if we are farther
from the Sun, we see certain stars. When we are closer to the Sun, the stars we
couldn’t see are now visible and the stars we could see before are now not visible
4)
Evidence-based Conclusion Statement:
Evidence-based Conclusion Statement: Based
on the observations we made, the locations appear to move in the sky. This is
the earth’s rotation and the change in seasons that make this possible
5
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Phase VI – Summary
Create a 50-word summary, in your own words, that describes what you have learned about
Earth’s weather
and
what evidence you have to justify this notion. Feel free to create and label
sketches to illustrate your response.
Over the course of 12 months, the stars shift to different locations, this is not true. The
stars stay in the say location in the sky. They appear in different locations due to the
Earth’s rotation and seasons changing. There are many stars that only appear in the sky
during certain times of year.
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