# “The Sun’s Energy And Its Impact On The Weather”

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“The Sun’s Energy And Its Impact On The Weather”
ENERGY OF THE SUN “The Sun’s Energy And Its Impact On The Weather” Group 6A - Emporia Alan Gilmore, John Hoffman, Terry Shisler

MODELING UNIT: “THE SUN'S ENERGY AND IT'S IMPACT ON THE WEATHER”
Introduction: This unit will use the modeling format of instruction in the education and the assessment of each student's understanding of the sun's energy, and the effects of this energy on the weather. The participation of activities, discussion, and discovery will cover the following state standards: states of matter, properties of matter in density, measure the effects of temperature on matter, how light energy interacts with matter, how heat energy transfers from hot to cold thru radiation, convection, and conduction, ultimate energy source driving weather and climate is the sun, relationship of sun, moon and earth to explain seasons, and how the angle of solar energy striking the earth's surface affects absorption. The unit is geared towards the standards of middle school grades 6th through 8th.. Assessing Student Understanding: The modeling instruction, whiteboard interpretations and discussion is will be used as a formative assessment of student understanding.

Unit Outline: I. SUN'S ENERGY and ITS IMPACT ON WEATHER
A. State Standards 1. Standards Covered: 2.1.3, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.4.3, 2.4.4, 4.1.3, 4.3.2, (see areas of standards in introduction)‏ B. Essential Question 1. “Does the Sun's Energy influence weather, and if so, how?” a. Activity 1) Energy Reflection from the Sun 1. Question: Is Energy reflected off the atmosphere? a. Student activity with whiteboard modeling and discussion. b. Science standards covered and 4.3.2 b. Activity 2) The Sun's Energy when it hits the Earth 1. Question: Does the energy hit the earth equally at all locations? b. Science standards covered and 4.4.2

c. Activity 3) Differential Absorption: Solid-Liquids
1. Question: Is the energy absorption different depending on the masses? a. Student activity with whiteboard modeling and discussion. b. Science standard covered d. Activity 4) Parfait of Liquids 1. Question: Is the density of similar matter relevent in levels of energy received? e. Activity 5) Density Variations with temperature 1. Question: Can heat energy change the density of like matter? f. Activity 6) Floating Tea Bag: Density 1. Question: Can Hot and Cold temperatures cause air movement? b. Science standards covered , 2.1.3, 2.4.2, 2.4.4, 4.1.3 g. Activity 7) Cloud Chamber: Convection Currents 1. Question: How does heat and cooling temperatures create weather conditions? a. Teacher lab example with student whiteboard modeling and discussion. b. Science standards covered , 4.1.3 h. Activity 8) Globe: Data collection of Precipitation from N & S Hemispheres. 1. Question:Is there a difference and does land mass vs water mass have an effect? b. Science standard covered

C. Conclusion 1. “Does the Sun's Energy influence weather, and if so, how?” a. Discuss a summary of reflection and evidence achieved through the activities. 2. Vocabulary terms & concepts learned, emphasized, or drawn from previous knowledge. a. properties of matter; phases of matter; density; relative densities, predict, heat; expansion; contraction; measurement of temperature; energy transformation; heat energy, light energy, convection, environmental conditions; atmosphere, properties, climate, solar energy, pressure as it relates to weather, model, water cycle, humidity, earth rotation and tilt, seasons.

EARTH-ATMOSPHERE DISCUSSION HANDOUT

ACTIVITY 1: Energy Reflection from the Sun
Atmosphere Sun Earth ACTIVITY 1: Energy Reflection from the Sun Albedo Though apparently transparent the atmosphere will reflect electromagnetic radiation from the sun differentially with respect to the angle of incidence. The amount of energy reflected leaves less energy to reach the surface. The differential “transparency” heats the atmosphere unevenly. The uneven heating of the atmosphere creates convection currents causing wind. Clarifying and sharpening the students’ judgment to approach the concept of transparency critically is the main purpose of this activity. 25% of the solar energy is scattered or reflected by clouds & air molecules. 75% is absorbed by clouds and Earth’s surface.

ACTIVITY 2: The Sun’s Energy When Hitting the Earth
Energy shape Sun’s Energy Energy shape ACTIVITY 2: The Sun’s Energy When Hitting the Earth Position of Energy reaching the earth The earth revolves around the sun, and maintains the approximate 23 degree tilt on its axis. In this relationship with the sun, the angle of energy that the sun hits the earth with will determine the intensity of energy received by the earth. A direct reception of the sun's energy is more intense and covers a smaller portion of the earth. A less direct reception of the sun's energy is less intense but covers a greater surface area of the earth.

ACTIVITY 3: Differential Absorption: Solid-Liquids
Solid Mass – i.e. Land Sun’s Energy Liquid Mass – i.e. Water ACTIVITY 3: Differential Absorption: Solid-Liquids Differential Absorption: Solid/Liquid As the energy of the sun reaches the Earth's surface it is going to be received by a variety of solids, liquids and vapors or gases. The energy must go through the atmosphere to impact the earth's surface. Some energy will be reflected away by the atmosphere (6%) some by clouds (25%), and some by land (4%). Some energy will be absorbed by the atmosphere before it hits the surface (15%) and some will reach the surface to be reflected or absorbed. This activity determines where the energy is absorbed.

ACTIVITY 4: Parfait of Liquids
+ + = Water Oil Glycerin ACTIVITY 4: Parfait of Liquids Parfait of Liquids When three different liquid matters are poured into the same container, the liquids will separate if they have different densities. In the case of placing water, vegetable oil, and glycerin into one container, the glycerin has a higher density than water and sinks to the bottom. The water has a greater density than the oil and places itself between the oil and the glycerin.

ACTIVITY 5: Density Variations with Temperature
Cold Water Hot Water + = ACTIVITY 5: Density Variations with Temperature Parfait of Liquids When two liquids of like matter (water) are mixed and one container of water has been heated, the warmer water will rise to the top. Why? Because when water is heated, the molecules separate and the warmer water becomes a lower density and it rises to the top.

ACTIVITY 6: Floating Tea Bag: Density
A double tea bag is emptied of tea, then opened in the middle to create a tube. When ignited with a match or flame at the top the tube will burn down until the heat of the flame is more powerful than the weight of the bag. After the bag is burned it cools off and the flame no longer is strong enough to keep it rising, therefore as air becomes warmer it rises, and as it cools it drops.

ACTIVITY 7: Cloud Chamber – Convection Currents
Bag of Ice Match Hot Water ACTIVITY 7: Cloud Chamber – Convection Currents Cloud Chamber The activity is to show that rising hot air that hits a cooler temperature will condense and form a cloud, and when enough moisture vapor condenses in the cloud then the result is rain.

Northern and Southern Hemisphere Precipitation
ACTIVITY 8: Globe – Precipitation Data Collection Globe: Data Collection Students will research and collect data from northern and southern hemisphere locations as found on the internet. The data will be reviewed and discussed as to whether or not the size of land masses from both hemispheres report different amounts of precipitation. This should help conclude whether land mass has an affect on weather.

CONCLUSION Question: Does The Sun's Energy Influence Weather and if so, How? Answer: Yes, as reflected on the modeling whiteboards, discussions and activities.

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