Teach the Earth > Introductory Courses > Activities > Weather Map Assignment

Weather Map Assignment

Matt Brueseke
Kansas State University
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Apr 30, 2008


This assignment assesses how well students are able to record and synthesize basic meteorological data.

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Used for an introductory Meteorology class

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Must have a basic understanding of meteorological concepts, including mid-latitude cyclone theory.

How the activity is situated in the course

Stand-alone homework assignment given in the latter part of the course.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

My overall goal was to get the students to relate real-time changes in weather phenomena to mid-latitude cyclone theory.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

The project involves gathering and synthesizing data, then formulating a hypothesis that explains the data.

Other skills goals for this activity

The data synthesis portion of the project is a written essay, so I can help with their writing skills.

Description of the activity/assignment

I gave this assignment so that students could relate real-time weather changes to mid-latitude cyclones and air mass movement. Basically, by the time I assigned the project, we have discussed all the necessary weather phenomena and this project gives the students a way to apply what we have discussed to "reality" by explaining why the weather occurred the way it did over a short time period. It also provides me with a way to assess how well they are able to tie all the major concepts together, which is one of the goals of the course.

Determining whether students have met the goals

I evaluate the project by assessing their accuracy, neatness of their maps, and the quality of their synthesis (the essay). Solutions are going to vary from semester to semester, depending on when the assignment was given, etc. Also, the length of the project could be easily changed to encompass longer periods of time.

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Supporting references/URLs

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