Denise Blaha, Rita Freuder, Earth Exploration Toolbook from TERC
Activity takes up to four 45-minute class periods depending on how activity is used. Computer access is necessary.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 1 Performance Expectation, 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 5 Cross Cutting Concepts, 7 Science and Engineering Practices
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 4a
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Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
Other materials addressing:
A) Processes that shape the Earth.
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Summary of regional impacts of climate change is weak and not very complete. Ideally the educator would do more research on these topics before teaching the lab so that they can guide students better in understanding the specific local effects of a changing climate.
- A few guiding questions are suggested, but educator will have to develop additional assessment questions.
- Questions that are given to guide the interpretation of the graphs should stress that the graphs are predictions of the future and, therefore, hypotheses and not facts.
- Activity uses information from a model "black box," followed by a detailed, step-by-step instruction; educator has to make sure that the student learning of the content - regional variability of climate change - is achieved.
- Shortcut options: 1) Data is available on EET chapter website and does not necessarily need to be downloaded from EOS-Webster, 2) Go directly to Part 3 where the graphs are already presented with the analysis questions. However, to do the extension about the home-state, you need to access the EOS-Webster
- Available professional development programs may be helpful in overcoming concerns about manipulation of large data sets.
About the Science
- Activity uses data from a climate model to understand the regional variability of climate change in different US states (including their home state).
- Students learn the application of Excel as a graphing tool to manage large data sets by using real climate data.
- There is not enough information on the parameters that went into the model; a link is provided to background materials that indicate that the parameters that were used for the Canadian Climate Change model agree well with the IPCC model results, however, it would be better for an educator to have an overview of the exact parameters so that their validity could be discussed (especially if this activity will be used at the college-level).
- Summary of regional impacts of climate change is weak and not very complete.
- Very valuable to have students look at their home state because it makes climate change much more directly relevant.
- Comment from scientist: There is much more uncertainty about regional climate changes and impacts compared to global changes. It is important that this be emphasized during the lessons.
About the Pedagogy
- Well-designed and well-crafted with great guide for students and educators; clear guidance.
- Weak analysis and assessment questions.
- Step-by-step instruction doesn't foster creativity of the student.
- Students that are not very tech-savvy might become lost in the materials and need good guidance.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
See other data-rich activities
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- Well-designed activity with very clear screenshots that guide the user through the different steps.
- Students need to be familiar with Excel.
- There is an option of downloading the relevant data sets from the EET site without using the EOS -Webster interface, however the available data is comma-delimited (see instructions for import to Excel).
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:
Performance Expectations: 1
HS-ESS3-5: Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3
HS-ESS2.D1:The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.
HS-ESS2.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.
HS-ETS1.B2:Both physical models and computers can be used in various ways to aid in the engineering design process. Computers are useful for a variety of purposes, such as running simulations to test different ways of solving a problem or to see which one is most efficient or economical; and in making a persuasive presentation to a client about how a given design will meet his or her needs.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 5
HS-C1.4: Mathematical representations are needed to identify some patterns.
HS-C2.1:Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
HS-C3.5:Algebraic thinking is used to examine scientific data and predict the effect of a change in one variable on another (e.g., linear growth vs. exponential growth).
HS-C4.4:Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models.
HS-C7.2:Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible.
Science and Engineering Practices: 7
HS-P1.2:ask questions that arise from examining models or a theory, to clarify and/or seek additional information and relationships.
HS-P1.3:ask questions to determine relationships, including quantitative relationships, between independent and dependent variables
HS-P1.6:Ask questions that can be investigated within the scope of the school laboratory, research facilities, or field (e.g., outdoor environment) with available resources and, when appropriate, frame a hypothesis based on a model or theory.
HS-P2.3:Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system
HS-P2.6:Develop and/or use a model (including mathematical and computational) to generate data to support explanations, predict phenomena, analyze systems, and/or solve problems.
HS-P6.1:Make a quantitative and/or qualitative claim regarding the relationship between dependent and independent variables.
HS-P6.4:Apply scientific reasoning, theory, and/or models to link evidence to the claims to assess the extent to which the reasoning and data support the explanation or conclusion.