Weather Map Assignment

Matt Brueseke
,
Kansas State University
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Summary

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

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Context

Audience

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.

Goals

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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