Weather & Climate Module

Tyto Online’s Weather and Climate module addresses the NGSS topic arrangement for Weather and Climate, from the Earth & Space Science domain.

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Weather & Climate Module

Watch a summary video of this Module and the research supporting it.

Funded in part by a grant from the Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences.

Sandbox: The O.R.B.

Players are given a barren planet that does not yet support life. By adding air masses, changing the planet’s rotation and axis tilt, and controlling air mass temperature and humidity levels, players can eventually coax the planet into a life-supporting area with multiple biomes. Eventually, humans will make their home on the planet and will use technology that can be harmful or beneficial to the environment as a whole.

Work to bring your barren wasteland to life

Adjust factors like tilt & rotation, and add air masses.

Students can adjust the tilt (-70 to 70 degrees), rotation (4 hours/day to hundreds of hours in a day), and then add air masses that they customize. The simulation takes effect and begins to bring biomes to life as precipitation occurs over time.

Cause weather events by managing air masses

Choose temperature, precipitation, size, and elevation as you add air masses.

After you add air masses, they begin interacting and moving around the planet! Hot masses rise above cool, they move in a broad Coriolis effect, and cause weather events like rain, blizzards, and tornados.

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Add human settlements to your planet

Once your planet is fixed, you can begin placing human settlements!

Humans require specific conditions to be kept happy, one of which is providing energy. Players build and unlock various types of technology to keep their human settlements growing and happy.

Humans can have negative impacts on the planet

The technology humans use can release greenhouse gases, and cause negative effects.

Human presence and choices in technology result in GHG release, which will then increase global temperature. Increasing global temperature in a climate change model will impact livable areas of the planet, and cause sea levels to rise.

Suggested activities teachers can use

Use our set of suggested activities to help ensure students achieve learning outcomes.

Use our suggested activities alongside the Weather & Climate Sandbox to give some structure to students' learning. Give them challenges like melting their north pole, making a temperature planet, or an extremely hot and cold planet. Have them use a Google Sheets template to track their GHG vs. global temperature over time, too!

NGSS Standards


Here’s a quick overview of how the Modules available in Tyto Online map to the Next Generation Science Standards.

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