Today’s lesson started with a concept that even older students have difficulty with – the difference between weather and climate. (Ask your student to explain the difference to you!) Students explored the concept of weather and where it occurs in the atmosphere, and about how the earth’s rotation and other factors influence weather. Density was also a hot topic, and students determined that warm air was less dense than cold air, which is why warm air rises and cold air sinks. This difference can be noticed when you open your freezer door or when you’re using a toaster! Your student should also be able to identify the four main types of precipitation and how each forms.
During our activities, students had the opportunity to make their own thermometer and model a thunderstorm! The most surprising thing that students learned today was that air takes up space. They learned that if air cannot clear or empty a specific space, not even water can occupy it! This air is constantly flowing and moving, which is how we have changes between warm and cold fronts. These changes create wind, storms, and generally, weather!
Ask these young scientists why the temperature drops after it rains. I’m sure they’ll be able to tell you!
To find out more about the different cloud types visit: http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/meteorological-terms/cloud.htm
If you’d like to do an activity at home and build your own barometer (an instrument that measures pressure), see the attached worksheet in this blog entry!
Remember, low pressure represents cold fronts, which means inclement (or rainy/stormy) weather!
And high pressure is found in warm air (remember how the air molecules in the warm air get warmer and warmer because of the sun, which builds up all that pressure?). So high air pressure represents beautiful sunny weather!