Weather Forecasting Simulation

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Objective

SWBAT complete a computer simulation that allows them to report and predict the weather.

Big Idea

Students pretend to be meteorologists while completing a computer simulation online.

Engage

5 minutes

Teacher Tip: This lesson is entirely based upon the EdHeads weather simulation. It is a free website.  It does require an Internet connection and a computer with Flash enabled. As students are moving through the simulation, they are addressing NGSS MS-ESS2-4 and 5 because they are considering what happens as different air masses move through our atmosphere, driving our weather and its patterns.  

To begin the lesson, students observe the weather outside and record their findings in their student notes sheet

ENGAGE: Report (tell) what the weather is outside right now.

Temperature-

Cloud coverage-

Precipitation-

Explore

30 minutes

Students now work to complete the questions on the notes sheet by moving through the simulation. Before they work independently, I preview the notes sheet in order for them to understand what's expected.  

I also show students how to access the various parts of the simulation by demonstrating on the SMARTBoard how the sim interacts and what it looks like as it is used.

EXPLORE: Follow the steps below to complete the simulation.

REPORTING THE WEATHER

  1. Go to Edheads: Weather

  2. Click on REPORT the weather.

  3. Play Level 1: Score ____________

  4. Play Level 2: Score ____________

  5. Play Level 3: Score ____________

Questions:

  1. What does “reporting the weather” mean?

  2.  List 3 things that are reported in a weather report.

 3. Why would someone want to know the weather    

     report?

PREDICTING THE WEATHER

  1. Click on ACTIVITY HOME

  2. Click on PREDICTING THE WEATHER

  3. Play Level 1: Score ____________

  4. Play Level 2: Score ____________

  5. Play Level 3: Score ____________

Questions:

  1. How is predicting the weather different from reporting the weather?

2. What do meteorologists (weathermen) need to know in order to predict the weather?

3. How do meteorologists know when a certain kind of weather will be in NYC, for example?

Watch the video clip below to see how the simulation is run.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Evaluate

5 minutes

As a final task, students are asked to answer the following question on their notes sheet: 

EVALUATE: Predict the Following

There is a cold front, with snow and cold temperatures headed towards NYC at 10 mph. It is currently 100 miles away. How long will it take for the cold front to reach NYC if it stays along the same directional path and at the same speed?

Show your work.