All Kinds of Weather (and Climate)

Weather & Climate
Microclimates; rainshadow, climate, pressure, humidity, weather
75 minutes (5 15 minute quests)

Players travel to an island several miles away from Espeth, which has recently been opened for scientific study and exploration. Students meet Juniper, a cartographer who is eager to create various maps of the island, but is puzzled by the island’s two very different climates: desert and rainforest.

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Standards Covered

MS-ESS2-5. Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.

Anchoring Phenomena & Topics Covered

Microclimates; rainshadow, climate, pressure, humidity, weather

Real World Connections

This storyline helps students understand microclimates and the connection between geographical features and climate which can be found on Earth too such as in the Himalayas.

Teacher Guide

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Look Both Ways

Players travel to an island off the coast of Espeth that has recently been opened up for scientific study. Juniper, a cartographer, is eager to map out the area, but needs the player's help to understand how two opposing climates can exist in such a small space. Students gather temperature and humidity data and learn about geography and wind patterns to solve the mystery.

Earth, Wind, and Fire (the Latter of which Makes Hot Air Balloons Function Properly)

Players use hot air balloon sensors to gather data, but note that the balloons seem to work much better on the cold mountaintop than at sea level. Research into the dynamics of air pressure help to shed light on the mechanics underlying the island's two-faced climate patterns.

Microclimates are Climates, Too

Having gathered all relevant data from the island with the hot air balloon sensors, players end this storyline poised to explain how one small island can sustain two different climates. The same principle can be seen on Earth at a much larger scale on either side of the Himalayan mountain range!

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