Reflection: Complex Tasks Heat Transfer - Radiation and the Greenhouse Effect - Section 3: Explore


By the time students get to 8th grade they should have been exposed to some graphing in either math or science class. I find that 8th graders are able to handle the complex tasks of graphing using a computer program such as Excel or Google Sheets. 

If your students have not had much practice graphing I suggest graphing with paper and pencil first. Do this to go over the parts of the graph (x-y axis, axis labels, units, title, etc.) and the purpose/meaning of these parts.

I like to discuss with them the relevance of graphs - how graphs help us see connections within a situation/scenario. 

You might lead off with the following:


  • Graphing is a pictorial way of representing relationships between various quantities, parameters, or measurable variables in nature.
  • A graph basically summarizes how one quantity changes if another quantity that is related to it also changes.
  • Graphs are useful because they can summarize a LOT of information into one picture. When scientists do research, graphs are often the only way to represent data that has been collected. When collecting data, you often may not know the exact relationship and interdependence between the various quantities that are being measured. A graph can give you an idea about how these variables change relative to one another.

  Graphing in Excel
  Complex Tasks: Graphing in Excel
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Heat Transfer - Radiation and the Greenhouse Effect

Unit 1: Heat Transfer and Interactions of Matter
Lesson 7 of 11

Objective: SWBAT explain a model of heating to describe the uneven heating of Earth's surface as well as how Earth's atmosphere effects incoming solar radiation.

Big Idea: This lesson explores heat transfer by radiation, uneven heating of Earth's surface and importance of Earth's atmosphere all in one go.

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