Explore how different factors work together to produce both your local community's day-to-day weather and the overall climate for your region of the world. Start with Module A (Daily Temperature Changes) and use the arrow in the bottom right corner to proceed through the site. You'll learn about the various factors that influence air temperature, weather, and climate, including how close an area is to a large body of water, how high above sea level it is, and how far it is from the equator.
Each topic contains at least two sections: The first will give you an explanation of the topic and demonstrate how to find data on it. In the text, words and phrases that are underlined are defined for you. Mouse over them or click on them if you're using a smart device, and further explanations should pop up to clarify what you're reading. The last section in each topic is a Try It activity and will let you choose places you're interested in looking at.
After completing the nine topics, check out the additional data tools found at the bottom of the menu. These tools will let you explore further some of the maps and tools from the earlier modules; if you start here instead, you may want to go back into the modules to get some context for using them. It should be noted that you need a Flash-enabled device/browser to access several of these tools and that the site overall is easier to use on a traditional computer, rather than on a tablet or phone.
In a series of nine modules, students explore some of the various factors that affect patterns in air temperature, including proximity to large bodies of water, elevation, and hours of daylight. Each module consists of an introduction, a graphical depiction of one of these factors, a description of what you're seeing, questions that you can use to discuss with your students, and an interactive section that includes a map where students can choose locations and dates to explore the concepts just covered. Each module concludes with questions students should be able to answer and a recommendation for how students can expand their knowledge. The Expand Your Knowledge links lend themselves well to follow-up questions and assignments.
The module uses data collected by local weather stations between 1929 and 2010 and utlizes Google maps to demonstrate the concepts, allowing students to customize their experience.
There is a lot of information included at WeatherSchool @ AAAS. You may find it useful to explore basic meteorological concepts first with students before bringing them to the site, but independent learners will certainly be able to follow along with the modules without too much difficulty. Students who are prone to start clicking without reading about what they're supposed to do may need additional reminders to look at the context of the charts and graphs in order to make the connections they are supposed to see. In addition to using this site in a science classroom learning about the factors that influence weather, mathematics teachers may find this a useful example of how charts and graphs are used in real-world scenarios.
This site is best viewed from a traditional computer with a Flash-enabled browser. Some activities will not work if Flash is not installed, and others are very difficult to view or complete from a tablet or smart phone.
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