Lab 5: Extreme Weather

The lab activity described here was created by Betsy Youngman and Sarah Hill of TERC for the EarthLabs project.

Summary and Learning Objectives

Students read articles from sources such as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NASA, the National Weather Service (NWS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and develop summaries of unusual weather patterns that have occurred in recent years. They read and share 2-page articles of indicators of climate change from the EPA. Then they examine and discuss maps of changing global temperature and precipitation patterns and relate the changes in climate to changes in the suitability of a region for a particular plant species.

After completing this investigation, students will be able to:

  • define and describe the indicators of climate change;
  • describe "extreme" weather events and define climate variability; and
  • investigate climate models and predictions for future climate and weather patterns, especially temperature changes and explain the concept of "anomaly."

Overview and Teaching Materials

Detailed overview of what students will do in each lab activity, how long it will take, and what materials are required to complete the lab.

Printable Materials

Download and print files needed for each lab activity, including images, data tables, and Stop and Think questions.

Teaching Notes and Tips

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Student Notebooks

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Science Standards

Lab 5 supports following Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Additional Resources

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