Reflection: Real World Applications Build a Barometer - Section 4: Explore


All models are inherently flawed but they remain valuable tools for science and engineering students. The student-made barometer gives students an "easy to interpret" model that relies on simple physics to show them how they can track daily changes in atmospheric pressure. However, it lacks the mathematical accuracy of using a calibrated barometer. One way to combine the two is to have a barometer in class, perhaps even one for every group of students. Every day when students record their observations taken from the student-made barometer, they can compare their results to the measured reading. So a daily entry might be recorded as "Up, 1001 mb" where "up" indicates that the pressure went up from the previous day as observed on their barometer and "1001 mb" is the actual barometric pressure taken from the barometer. 

This year I was able to add 5 NODE sensors to my lab. There are handheld, bluetooth sensors that work with most smart devices. Using a free app and the CLIMA NODE module, students can take measurements of atmospheric pressure, humidity, air temperature and light level. Measurements are provide in different unit so students can easily compare mm Hg, atm, mb, and kPa. 

  The value of a model
  Real World Applications: The value of a model
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Build a Barometer

Unit 2: Effects of Heat Energy Transfers on Earth's Atmosphere
Lesson 5 of 14

Objective: SWBAT build a model that measures atmospheric pressure, interpret how this model can be used to determine air pressure, investigate air pressure, track weather using their weather devices, and study atmospheric pressure.

Big Idea: Students explore air pressure by building their own barometer.

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34 teachers like this lesson
Science, meteorology, Air Pressure, Gas Laws
  85 minutes
screen shot 2014 10 25 at 1 38 58 pm
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