astronomy lab due sunday by 6pm

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 )

 

 

 

Minimum Temperature ( using  ° F )

 

 

 

Average Humidity ( using %)

 

 

 

Day’s Precipitation ( using inches )

 

 

 

Barometric (or Sea Level) Pressure *

 

 

 

Wind Speed ( 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.

  mid night

  mid night

  6 p m

  noon

 

6 am  

TEMPERATURE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  mid night

  mid night

  6 p m

  noon

 

6 am  

PRESSURE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  mid night

  mid night

  6 p m

  noon

 

6 am   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.

 

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 :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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—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.

 

 

 

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 which you have not completed before.  

 

Research Report :

  1) Specific Research Question:

 

 

 

 

 

  2) Step-by-Step Procedure to Collect Evidence:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  3) Data Table and/or Results:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  4) Evidence-based Conclusion Statement:

 

 

Phase VI – Summary

 

Create a 50-word summary, in your own words, that describes what you have learned  and  what evidence you have to justify this notion. Feel free to create and label sketches to illustrate your response.

 

6

 

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