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.


  • 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


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


    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.


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


    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.


    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: Return to step 3

    Step 1

    Create a MicroSoft Works spreadsheet

    Step 2

    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 11

    Add rainfall to the chart you made in step 10.

    Step 12

    Compare and anylize the information on this chart.

    Step 13

    Answer the enrichment questions


    Type in your last name here

    Type in your first name here

    Answer the following questions

    Which clouds seem to indicate rain?

    (check all that apply)




    Big white ones

    clouds don't indicate rain

    Is there a relationship between barometric pressure and temperature?

    can't tell from the data

    If your answer was yes, explain this relationship in this box.

    Is there a relationship between barometric pressure and rainfall?

    can't tell from the data

    If your answer was yes, explain this relationship in this box.

    To submit your answers, click on this button

    To erase your answers and start over, click on this button

    Data Sheet


    DateTemperature Cloud Type Barometer Rainfall
    7thcontinue for 30 days
    Ave temp.
    Ave pressure
    Total rainfall
    Return to step 2

    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.

    Return to the lesson

    Using formulas in spreadsheets

    Return to step 4

    Creating a pie chart

    Back to step 7

    line chart instructions

    Back to step 8

    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.