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Short Description: In this series of activities, students compare the weather, plot the movement of weather systems, and observe a fundamental motion of air responsible for certain large cloud formations on Earth and other planets, and report these observations.

Topic: Windy Worlds: Gas Giants, Atmospheres and Weather

Grade Level: 5-8

Body: Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Hubble Space Telescope (Beyond Our Solar System), Juno (Jupiter), Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Science Education Standards:

Benchmarks

By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that:
  • Air is a material that surrounds us and takes up space and whose movement we feel as wind. 4B/E4
  • The weather is always changing and can be described by measurable quantities such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation. Large masses of air with certain properties move across the surface of the earth. The movement and interaction of these air masses is used to forecast the weather. 4B/E5 (NSES)

By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that:

  • Nine planets of very different size, composition, and surface features move around the sun in nearly circular orbits. Some planets have a variety of moons and even flat rings of rock and ice particles orbiting around them. Some of these planets and moons show evidence of geologic activity. The earth is orbited by one moon, many artificial satellites, and debris. 4A/M3
  • The earth is mostly rock. Three-fourths of the earth's surface is covered by a relatively thin layer of water (some of it frozen), and the entire planet is surrounded by a relatively thin layer of air. 4B/M2ab
  • The earth has a variety of climates, defined by average temperature, precipitation, humidity, air pressure, and wind, over time in a particular place. 4B/M14
  • The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and trace amounts of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases. 4B/M15 (NSES)

National Science Education Standards

EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE
Grades 5-8
Structure of the Earth System
  • The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and trace gases that include water vapor. The atmosphere has different properties at different elevations.
  • Clouds, formed by the condensation of water vapor, affect weather and climate.
  • Global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather. Oceans have a major effect on climate, because water in the oceans holds a large amount of heat.
Earth in the Solar System
  • The earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, eight other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets. The sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system.

Source: NASA Quest


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Last Updated: 1 Jul 2014