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Weather Stations: Temperature and Pressure

Lunar and Planetary Institute, Universities Space Research Association

Children discover the relationship between temperature and pressure in the lower atmospheres of Jupiter and Earth. They chart the increasing temperature as they add pressure to a 2-liter soda bottle with a Fizz-Keeper Pump.

The duration of this activity is approximately 15-20 minutes. Additional materials are required.

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Some discussion questions may need to be adapted due to the fact that the Juno Mission has been launched and is currently still orbiting Jupiter (until July 2021 according to NASA).
  • This demonstration is part of a "Weather Station" set, however, it can stand alone.
  • The "My Trip to Jupiter" journal is not required to complete the activity, as there is a link to the relevant handout pages. However, if multiple activities from the series are going to be done the journal may be useful.
  • Safety considerations with pressurized bottles should be highlighted before beginning the activity.
  • The activity is easy to follow and includes facilitator notes and links to print student sheets.
  • There is a 40 page Jupiter activity book with math, literacy, art, and science activities.

About the Science

  • This hands-on experiment allows students to see what happens to air temperature as pressure increases.
  • This relationship is discussed in the context of Earth's atmosphere and then expanded upon using Jupiter's atmosphere.
  • Students also make a graph and interpret the relationship between temperature and pressure.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Engaging, hands-on, small-group work.
  • This experiment begins with asking introductory questions, then performing the experiment.
  • After the experiment, discussion questions help elaborate upon the subject, by asking the students to make inferences about Jupiter's atmosphere.
  • The student handout "My Trip to Jupiter Journal" can be used with this and related lessons on Jupiter.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Fizz-Keeper is no longer available at Steve Spangler Science, but alternatives are available online.
Entered the Collection: August 2020 Last Reviewed: June 2020

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