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Day 168: Global Warming Skepticism May 18, 2007

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Yesterday’s video expressing the Global Warming Alarmist viewpoint (An Inconvenient Truth – read more yesterday’s class here) was one side of the global warming debate. Today, students watched the other viewpoint, as expressed in the documentary film “The Great Global Warming Swindle“.

You can watch the entire film online by going to the link at Google Videos: The Great Global Warming Swindle.

Now that students have notes from both films and both viewpoints, they are armed with the necessary information to begin their analysis of the films. Students have been assigned a paper to write about the two films. The opening of the paper should consist of two sections – one devoted to the thesis of each film. The paper will then close with a section devoted to the student’s own critical analysis of the global warming issue. This analysis should express their opinion and be backed by evidence. Students are also invited to discuss which explanations they found more convincing and why.

The completed paper is due in class on Tuesday, 05/22. See the links below for a wealth of information on each film and the assignment itself. Don’t forget you can email me with any questions you have while working on this project. See more links below.

Also made available today – the study guide for next week’s (Wednesday) test. We will review in class on Tuesday and I will host an after-school study session on Tuesday as well (3-4pm).

________________________________

Climate Change Debate Project List of Links:

The Assignment:

An Inconvenient Truth:

The Great Global Warming Swindle:

Day 167: Global Warming Alarmism May 17, 2007

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inconvenient.jpgThe first day of our short unit on climate change was today and we started by discussing the global warming alarmist point of view.  Students were introduced to this viewpoint by watching part of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”.  If students missed the video today, they can rent it locally or even purchase the DVD.  Students were to take detailed notes during the movie so they had information to draw from for the assignment.

Students were given the handout (Alarmist or Skeptic:  Instructions for Paper) that details the 2-page paper assignment that they are to complete for next week.  In this paper, they will be detailing the evidence that is explored in both today’s video and tomrorow’s video.  They will then evaluate both sides and express their own viewpoint, supported by evidence they ahve researched.  Be sure to read that handout carefully – this paper is an in-depth project that deserves careful attention to detail.

Tomorrow we’ll watch a video explaining the viewpoint of the global warming skeptic:  The Great Global Warming Swindle.  That video is available for legal viewing free online – I’ll post links tomorrow.

Day 162: Severe Weather Basics May 10, 2007

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In starting our week-long unit on severe weather basics and safety, we started with defining and contrasting the two main types of severe weather alerts:  watches and warnings.  We then discussed the six major types of severe weather:  Floods, Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Ice Storms, and Blizzards.  We only went into detail on Flooding today – tomorrow we’ll continue by discussing thunderstorms – next week; tornadoes.

Remember – forecasting packets are due tomorrow and there will be a quiz over that material tomorrow too!

Day 161: Weather Forecasting May 9, 2007

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In the culmination of a three-day unit on weather forecasting, students completed the third of three handouts (3. Weather Forecasting) intended to be used with online access in class today.  These handouts will be compiled and turned in as a packet (all three in one place) to be turned in on Friday.

Today’s objectives:

  • Explain various tools used by meteorologists to forecast the weather
  • Explore various online forecasting resources available to the general public (see “Weather Links” tab at the top of this page)
  • Forecast the weather for Kansas for tomorrow

On that day, we will have a quiz in class covering the content of each of the three pages.  Don’t forget to bring the packet to class on Friday!

Day 160: Radar & Satellite May 8, 2007

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radardome.jpgIn day two of our online weather forecasting unit, students completed the second (2. Radar and Satellite) handout which covered the following objectives:

  • Describe how weather radar and satellites operate
  • Describe how weather imagery can help meteorologists forecast weather
  • Utilize weather radar and satellite output to help describe the current weather

This handout, like the one from yesterday, will be turned in as part of a 3-page packet that is due, in total, on Friday. That day we will have a quiz covering the material on the three handouts.

Remember, if you did not complete today’s handout in class, you should plan to come in before school (7:30-8:00) or complete it by going to the public library or you may use your own computer at home if you have internet access.

Day 159: Station Models May 7, 2007

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In the first of three days we will spend on the online weather forecasting unit, students were introduced to the “station model” format of plotting weather data on a map.  They completed the (1.  Station Models) handout on how to decode the station plot as well as how to sketch their own based on a table of “current conditions” information.

For those who did not complete the page in class, the “Weather Tabs” link at the top of this page will get you to the list of all of the links you need to complete the handout.

Day 158: Fronts May 4, 2007

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fronts.jpgMeteorologists often discuss FRONTS on the weather forecast, but these do not just bring warm and cold air – they are much more complicated than that.

Today we drew diagrams of each of the four types of fronts, along with the clouds they form, the weather they bring, and the way they move:

  • Warm front
  • Cold front
  • Occluded front
  • Stationary front

Image source:  http://www.met.tamu.edu/class/Metr304/

Day 156: Cloud Postcards May 2, 2007

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cloudstamp.jpgYesterday’s cloud type research was the setup for today’s project:  Creating four postcards- one representing each cloud type.  These postcards are to be designed as real postcards are – with an image on one side, some text and an address on the back.

Each postcard should include the following:

  • Image on the front
  • Text describing the cloud type with DETAILS on the left side of the back
  • Address on the right side of the back.

Additionally,  for two points of extra credit, add a real stamp to one of the cards with a valid name and address (other than your own) to one of the cards.

All four cards are due at the start of class on Friday.

Day 155: Cloud Research May 1, 2007

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clouds.jpg

The four major cloud types:  Stratus, Nimbus, Cumulus, and Cirrus were researched in class today.  Students completed a guided notes page detailing the following for each cloud type:

  • Latin root of the name
  • Physical description
  • Unique characteristics
  • Sketch

Every student should use (and cite) at least two sources for their cloud information.   If you can find additional information/resources on cloud types, you are invited to bring those to class tomorrow – we’ll then complete a project using this research.

Day 154: Water in the Sky April 30, 2007

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How do meteorologists quantify the amount of moisture in the air?  That was today’s big question.  We completed guided notes on several definitions dealing with moisture in the air:  Humidity, Dew Point, and Relative Humidity.  We also sketched a graph showing how warm air holds more water vapor.  Keep these guided notes for tomorrow, as we’ll continue with then later in the week.

Homework:  Complete the labeling of the Water Cycle diagram on the back of the notes page.  Due at the start of class tomorrow (no late passes!)