Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Collecting Weather Data: Atmospheric Soundings - Section 4: Extend


This lesson addresses the fourth NGSS Science and Engineering Practice, Analyzing and Interpreting Data. I have underlined the key connections below:

“Scientific investigations produce data that must be analyzed in order to derive meaning. Because data patterns and trends are not always obvious, scientists use a range of tools—including tabulation, graphical interpretation, visualization, and statistical analysis—to identify the significant features and patterns in the data. Scientists identify sources of error in the investigations and calculate the degree of certainty in the results. Modern technology makes the collection of large data sets much easier, providing secondary sources for analysis.”

Learning to use a graphing tool, such as Excel, is an appropriate grade level skill for middle school and one that is required by most high schools. If your school is not equipped with Excel, you could use Google Sheets to complete the lesson as well, although some of the steps may not directly translate so I suggest running though the lesson on your own first and noting the changes needed for instruction. 

This lesson can be challenging to manage so I suggest that you walk your students through the lesson and project each step. You may even have every group use the same data set that you have pre-selected. Since they will be creating four graphs, the steps required to get to the end product are repeated four times, so there is enough  repetition for students to learn and practice making and interpreting the graphs. 

  Data Analysis
  Grappling with Complexity: Data Analysis
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Collecting Weather Data: Atmospheric Soundings

Unit 2: Effects of Heat Energy Transfers on Earth's Atmosphere
Lesson 9 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to graph and analyze data in order to make claims about the relationship of changes in pressure, temperature, wind speed and dew point in Earth's atmosphere.

Big Idea: Get your students using real time data with this lab that also teaches them to graph data using Excel.

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  95 minutes
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