# IM SMART LESSON "Using the Scientific Method to Predict Weather

Lesson created by Stephen Simmonsas part of the IM SMART Project. This project seeks to integrate Mathematics and Science at Milby High School through the study, and building of, alternative-fuel vehicles.

### OBJECTIVES

• Students will become familiar the capabilities of spreadsheet programs in science and Mathematics applications
• Identify telecommunications/Internet resources for a weather unit
• Gain minimal skills in spreadsheet capabilities

### MATHEMATICS CONNECTION

Students will calculate averages and sums, convert Celcius from Fahrenheit Create pie and line charts, use charts to make correlations and predictions

### SCIENCE CONNECTION

Students will be able to identify the steps of the Scientific Method and use the Scientific Method to make general predictions of naturally occuring phenomena.

### MATERIALS

Computer with Internet access Spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Exell or Microsoft Works

### REVIEW

When a scientist tries to solve a problem she searches for an answer in an orderly and systematic manner. This approach to problem solving is called the Scientific Method.

### INSTRUCTIONS

You will attempt to figure out what type of clouds cause rain. You will also attempt to see if a relationship exists between barometric pressure and certain weather conditions. To do this you will use information available at the following Internet locations:

### Step 1

• From the taskbar select start...programs....MSWorks
• Select New

### Step 2

• To enter data into a spreadsheet, just click at the location and type in the data.
• To move to another cell, use the arrow keys.
• When finished entering data, choose Save As from the File Menu
• Type weather.spread and click on Save

### Step 3

Use internet resources to find the information required to complete the spreadsheet

### Step 4

Use formulas to automatically calculate temperature and rainfallaverages

### Step 5

Use formulas to automatically calculate rainfall sums

### Step 6

Use a formula to automatically convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius

### Step 7

Make a pie chart of cloud type frequency

### Step 8

Make a line chart of temperature

### Step 9

Make a line chart of barometric pressure

### Step 10

Make a line chart showing both temperature and barometric pressure

### Step 12

Compare and anylize the information on this chart.

### ENRICHMENT

Type in your last name here

Type in your first name here

#### Which clouds seem to indicate rain?

(check all that apply)

Cumulus

Nimbus

Cirrus

Big white ones

clouds don't indicate rain

#### Is there a relationship between barometric pressure and temperature?

yes
no
can't tell from the data

#### Is there a relationship between barometric pressure and rainfall?

yes
no
can't tell from the data

# Data Sheet

## WEATHER DATA

DateTemperature Cloud Type Barometer Rainfall
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7thcontinue for 30 days
30th
Ave temp.
Ave pressure
Total rainfall

## Scientific Method

The scientific method can be divided into the following five steps.
(note: some scientist or science books have more steps)
1. State the problem to be solved
2. Gather information and make observations
3. Analyze the data collected and observations
4. Make a hypothesis (that would solve the problem)
5. Test the hypothesis (experiment)

If the experiment does not prove the hypothosis correct the scientist would return to step 3.

## line chart instructions

The IM SMART project, and particularly Mr. Simmons and Ms. Rienstra have received valuable assistance in the implementation of publishing these lessons on the World Wide Web from GirlTECH , a program of the Center for Research on Parrallel Computation at Rice University. Financial assistance has been provided by GTE Corporation through the GTE Growth Initiatives for Teachers (GIFT) Grant, Toyota Motor Sales USA through the Toyota TAPESTRY Grant, and The Texas General Land Office & H.E.B. Grocery's Environmental Challenge.

ssimmons@cs.rice.edu