David Smith, Betsy Youngman, Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapter from TERC
Activity takes between four and six 45-minute class periods. Computer access is necessary.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 4 Cross Cutting Concepts, 7 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 7 Science and Engineering Practices
Most suitable for upper high school and undergraduate. Can be modified to be used in upper middle school classes.
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 2f
Other materials addressing 4c
Other materials addressing 4d
2.4 Water stores and transfers energy.
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 |
- Teachers may want to create a summative assessment for each part of the activity since none is supplied.
About the Science
- Good background content for educators and students.
- Comment from scientist: The physical connections between the variables explored in the activity are not well explained and will need further explanation by the educator. Ideally an educator would encourage a hypothesis-based inquiry which could then lead in an understanding if the analyzed variables are connected.
About the Pedagogy
- Student directions are very detailed and well sequenced.
- Screenshots aid student navigation through the software and website.
- Most of the assessment questions are embedded in the student directions. No summative assessment supplied.
- A thorough and complete guide is supplied for educators.
- Students who are not very tech-savvy will need guidance from educator.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
See other data-rich activities
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:
Performance Expectations: 1
MS-ESS2-6: Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4
MS-ESS2.C2:The complex patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns.
MS-ESS2.D1:Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.
MS-ESS2.D3:The ocean exerts a major influence on weather and climate by absorbing energy from the sun, releasing it over time, and globally redistributing it through ocean currents.
MS-ESS3.B1:Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region, combined with an understanding of related geologic forces can help forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 4
MS-C1.3: Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships.
MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
MS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
MS-C7.3:Stability might be disturbed either by sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time.
Science and Engineering Practices: 7
MS-P1.5:Ask questions that require sufficient and appropriate empirical evidence to answer.
MS-P4.2:Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.
MS-P4.4:Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena.
MS-P4.7:Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings.
MS-P5.1: Use digital tools (e.g., computers) to analyze very large data sets for patterns and trends.
MS-P6.4:Apply scientific ideas, principles, and/or evidence to construct, revise and/or use an explanation for real- world phenomena, examples, or events.
MS-P8.1:Critically read scientific texts adapted for classroom use to determine the central ideas and/or obtain scientific and/or technical information to describe patterns in and/or evidence about the natural and designed world(s).
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1
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.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 3
HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.
HS-C2.1:Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
HS-C3.2: Some systems can only be studied indirectly as they are too small, too large, too fast, or too slow to observe directly.
Science and Engineering Practices: 7
HS-P1.1:Ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.
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-P3.4:Select appropriate tools to collect, record, analyze, and evaluate data.
HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.
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.
HS-P8.1:Critically read scientific literature adapted for classroom use to determine the central ideas or conclusions and/or to obtain scientific and/or technical information to summarize complex evidence, concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
HS-P8.5:Communicate scientific and/or technical information or ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (i.e., orally, graphically, textually, mathematically).