Curriculum Filter Results

What factors impact ice coverage on the Great Lakes?

What impacts do you think ice on the Great Lakes might have on the surrounding area? Ice actually has a considerable impact. Shipping is shut down for a part of the year. Fish spawning can be  impacted. Shoreline structures can be damaged. Even the climate itself is impacted by the ice overage. After students have recorded their own perceptions of ice coverage of the great lake and then  compared them to actual data, they will be asked to develop an investigation that will test factors that they believe influence ice coverage on the Great Lakes.

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Global and Great Lakes Climate Change

In this investigation, groups of students will graph data reflecting temperature anomalies over a short period in the recorded climate history of the world or in part of the Great Lakes region. Using only their own data, they will predict how their actual temperature anomaly trend might continue. That is, with limited data, what do they conclude about the future? As all student groups assemble and observe the trend of the 130-year data set, they may conclude that having a larger data set offers more confidence in predictions. Students will learn to identify a trend in a set of graphic data, evaluate and discuss the difficulties inherent in interpreting and forecasting long- and short-term trends, and analyze data, draw conclusions about whether temperature anomalies are evidence of global warming, and defend their conclusions.

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How do greenhouse gases affect heat absorption?

Students build a model and simulate a portion of the greenhouse system using carbon dioxide, learning about the components of the greenhouse effect and the effect of carbon dioxide on the absorption of heat in the atmosphere.

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Snowmaking: Great Lakes Style

Students living near the Great Lakes often feel the chill of lake-effect snowstorms. Students who have been introduced to weather basics can become familiar with the lakes’ effect on winter storms through this mapping exercise. This activity involving map interpretation skills compliments a weather and climate unit.

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How do the Great Lakes modify the growing season?

Using agricultural product and frost maps and an infrared satellite image, students develop a hypothesis about the effect of the lakes on growing seasons and then create a model to test the hypothesis.

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What happens to heat energy reaching the Great Lakes?

Even as far back as the “log cabin days,” people knew that water absorbs a great deal of heat energy and can in turn release this heat. Pioneers would prevent foods from freezing on cold nights by placing a large container of water in the room. Can you think of why this might work? Conduct an investigation to explore how bodies of water can affect the surrounding areas. Learn how soil and water differ in their ability to absorb and release heat energy and how this difference in heat absorbed or released affects the atmosphere immediately above the land and immediately above the water.

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How is coastal temperature influenced by the Great Lakes and the ocean?

The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate. Use a combination of laboratory investigation, map study, and graphing to learn how large bodies of water can serve as a heat source or sink at different times and how proximity to water moderates climate along the coast.

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What factors influence ice coverage on the Great Lakes?

What impacts do you think ice on the Great Lakes might have on the surrounding area? Ice actually has a considerable impact. Shipping is shut down for a part of the year. Fish spawning can be impacted. Shoreline structures can be damaged. Even the climate itself is impacted by the ice coverage.

Objectives:

  • Develop a hypothesis identifying the major factors involved in ice coverage of the Great Lakes.
  • Design an investigation of relationships in the Earth System.
  • Evaluate your hypothesis and suggest other investigations related to it.

External Curriculum Materials

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