This science lab is designed for high school or advanced middle school students. It may be used to support national science education standards NS 9-12.6, personal and social perspectives.
Because the lab is designed to be used nationally and not all school districts use the same lesson plan format, the lessons are formatted according to the commonly-used constructivist model of learning called the ”Five Es.” Each E describes a process that the students undergo rather than what the teacher does: Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, and Evaluate. The students build their knowledge and skills from what they already know and can do. First, the students Engage in the lesson by being exposed to information that is meaningful to them and excites them to learn more. They then Explore more about the topic by participating in teacher-led and student-directed activities. The students are then asked to Explain what they have learned to solidify their new understanding of the concepts. The students then elaborate or Extend their learning by applying what they have learned to new situations, to broaden their perspective and deepen their understanding. Last, they are asked to assess their own learning and allow the teacher to Evaluate their performance.
Track visibility from the ground, and then use satellite images to identify pollution coming into your region from other places. This activity also includes extensions for other air quality observations.
Throughout history, humans have strived to understand and even control weather and climate. By developing an understanding of the patterns of rainfall, scientists are making possible increasingly accurate weather, flood and drought forecasts. This activity connects backyard observations of rainfall to satellite measurements of rain to study both local and broad precipitation patterns.