and Benchmarks: Weather Modules
The ETE weather modules ("Weather or Not?" and
"Severe Weather: Hurricanes!") support the following science
standards and benchmarks:
Science Education Standards (Science
Education Standards Online)
As a result of activities, students should develop understanding and abilities
aligned with the following concepts and processes.
Unifying Concepts and Processes (pp. 115-119)
concepts that underlie Systems, Order, and Organization include:
- A system is an
organized group of related objects or components that form a whole.
- Systems have boundaries,
components, resources flow (input and output), and feedback.
- The idea of simple
systems encompasses subsystems as well as identifying the structure
and function of systems, feedback and equilibrium, and the distinction
between open and closed systems.
- An understanding
of regularities in systems, and by extension, the universe; they then
can develop understanding of basic laws, theories, and models that explain
- The behavior of
units of matter, objects, organisms, or events in the universe-can be
- Probability is
the relative certainty (or uncertainty) that individuals can assign
to selected events happening (or not happening) in a specified space
that underlie Evidence, Models, & Explanation include:
- Evidence consists
of observations and data on which to base scientific explanations.
- Using evidence
to understand interactions allows individuals to predict changes in
natural and designed systems.
- Models are tentative
schemes or structures that correspond to real objects, events, or classes
of events, and that have explanatory power.
- Models help scientists
and engineers understand how things work.
that underlie Constancy, Change, & Measurement include:
- Interactions within
and among systems result in change.
- Changes vary in
rate, scale, and pattern, including trends and cycles.
- Changes in systems
can be quantified.
- Mathematics is
essential for accurately measuring change.
- Different systems
of measurement are used for different purposes.
- An important part
of measurement is knowing when to use which system.
- Scale includes
understanding that different characteristics, properties, or relationships
within a system might change as its dimensions are increased or decreased.
- Rate involves
comparing one measured quantity with another measured quantity.
A: Science As Inquiry (pp. 173-176)
concepts that underlie Abilities Necessary to Do Scientific Inquiry include:
- Design and conduct
- Use technology
and mathematics to improve investigations and communications.
- Formulate and
revise scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence.
- Recognize and
analyze alternative explanations and models.
- Communicate and
defend a scientific argument.
that underlie Understandings About Scientific Inquiry include:
- Scientists rely
on technology to enhance the gathering and manipulation of data.
- New techniques
and tools provide new evidence to guide inquiry and new methods to gather
data, thereby contributing to the advance of science.
- The accuracy and
precision of the data, and therefore the quality of the exploration,
depends on the technology used.
- Mathematics is
essential in scientific inquiry. Mathematical tools and models guide
and improve the posing of questions, gathering data, constructing explanations
and communicating results.
B: Physical Science (pp. 176-181)
concepts that underlie Motions & Force include:
- Objects change
their motion only when a net force is applied.
- The electric force
is a universal force that exists between any two charged objects.
- Opposite charges
attract while like charges repel.
- Electricity and
magnetism are two aspects of a single electromagnetic force.
that underlie Conservation of Energy & the Increase in Disorder include:
- All energy can
be considered to be either kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion;
potential energy, which depends on relative position; or energy contained
by a field, such as electromagnetic waves.
- Heat consists
of random motion and the vibrations of atoms, molecules, and ions.
- The higher the
temperature, the greater the atomic or molecular motion.
- Everything tends
to become less organized and less orderly over time. Thus, in all energy
transfers, the overall effect is that the energy is spread out uniformly
when we burn fuels.
that underlie Interations of Energy & Matter include:
- Waves, including
sound and seismic waves, waves on water, and light waves, have energy
and can transfer energy when they interact with matter.
D: Earth and Space Science (pp. 187-190 )
concepts that underlie Energy in the Earth System include:
- Earth systems
have internal and external sources of energy, both of which create heat.
- The sun is the
major external source of energy.
- Heating of earth's
surface and atmosphere by the sun drives convection within the atmosphere
and oceans, producing winds and ocean currents.
- Global climate
is determined by energy transfer from the sun at and near the earth's
surface. This energy transfer is influenced by dynamic processes such
as cloud cover and the earth's rotation, and static conditions such
as the position of mounta in ranges and oceans.
E: Science and Technology (pp. 190-193)
concepts that underlie Disorder Understandings About Science & Technology
- Scientists in
different disciplines ask different questions, use different methods
of investigation, and accept different types of evidence to support
- Many scientific
investigations require the contributions of individuals from different
disciplines, including engineering.
- Science often
advances with the introduction of new technologies. Solving technological
problems often results in new scientific knowledge.
- New technologies
often extend the current levels of scientific understanding and introduce
new areas of research.
- Science and technology
are pursued for different purposes. Scientific inquiry is driven by
the desire to understand the natural world, and technological design
is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems.
- Technology, by
its nature, has a more direct effect on society than science because
its purpose is to solve human problems, help humans adapt, and fulfill
solutions may create new problems. Science, by its nature, answers questions
that may or may not directly influence humans. Sometimes scientific
advances challenge people's beliefs and practical explanations concerning
various aspects of the world.
F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (pp. 193-199)
concepts that underlie Personal & Community Health include:
- Hazards and the
potential for accidents exist. Regardless of the environment, the possibility
of injury, illness, disability, or death may be present.
that underlie Natural & Human-Induced Hazards include:
- Normal adjustments
of earth may be hazardous for humans.
- Humans live at
the interface between the atmosphere driven by solar energy and the
upper mantle where convection creates changes in the earth's solid crust.
- Some hazards,
such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and severe weather, are rapid
- Natural and human-induced
hazards present the need for humans to assess potential danger and risk.
- Students should
understand the costs and trade-offs of various hazards-ranging from
those with minor risk to a few people to major catastrophes with major
risk to many people.
- The scale of events
and the accuracy with which scientists and engineers can (and cannot)
predict events are important considerations.
that underlie Science & Technology in Local, National, & Global
- Science and technology
are essential social enterprises, but alone they can only indicate what
can happen, not what should happen. The latter involves human decisions
about the use of knowledge.
- Decisions involve
assessment of alternatives, risks, costs, and benefits and consideration
of who benefits and who suffers, who pays and gains, and what the risks
are and who bears them.
- Students should
understand the appropriateness and value of basic questions-"What
can happen?"- "What are the odds?"-and "How do scientists
and engineers know what will happen?"
By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that:
Chapter 11, Common Themes
- A system usually
has some properties that are different from those of its parts, but
appear because of the interaction of those parts.
how things work and designing solutions to problems of almost any kind
can be facilitated by systems analysis.
- In defining a
system, it is important to specify its boundaries and subsystems, indicate
its relation to other systems, and identify what its input and its output
are expected to be.
- Even in some very
simple systems, it may not always be possible to predict accurately
the result of changing some part or connection.
- The basic idea
of mathematical modeling is to find a mathematical relationship that
behaves in the same ways as the objects or processes under investigation.
- Computers have
greatly improved the power and use of mathematical models by performing
computations that are very long, very complicated, or repetitive.
- The graphic capabilities
of computers make them useful in the design and testing of devices and
structures and in the simulation of complicated processes.
- The usefulness
of a model can be tested by comparing its predictions to actual observations
in the real world.
11C Constancy and
- Graphs and equations
are useful (and often equivalent) ways for depicting and analyzing patterns
- Predictable or
not, the precise future of a system is not completely determined by
its present state and circumstances but also depends on the fundamentally
uncertain outcomes of events on the atomic scale.
- Because different
properties are not affected to the same degree by changes in scale,
large changes in scale typically change the way that things work in
physical, biological, or social systems.
- As the number
of parts of a system grows in size, the number of possible internal
interactions increases much more rapidly, roughly with the square of
the number of parts.
Chapter 1, The Nature of Science
The Scientific World View:
- Scientists assume
that the universe is a vast single system in which the basic rules are
the same everywhere.
- Change and continuity
are persistent features of science.
- In science, the
testing, revising, and occasional discarding of theories, new and old
1B Scientific Inquiry:
are conducted for different reasons, including to explore new phenomena,
to check on previous results, to test how well a theory predicts, and
to compare different theories.
- Hypotheses are
widely used in science for choosing what data to pay attention to and
what additional data to seek, and for guiding the interpretation of
the data (both new and previously available).
- Sometimes, scientists
can control conditions in order to obtain evidence. When that is not
possible for practical or ethical reasons, they try to observe as wide
a range of natural occurrences as possible to be able to discern patterns.
1C The Scientific
- Many problems
are studied by scientists using information and skills from many disciplines.
- Disciplines do
not have fixed boundaries, and it happens that new scientific disciplines
are being formed where existing ones meet and that some subdisciplines
spin off to become new disciplines in their own right.
- Scientists can
bring information, insights, and analytical skills to bear on matters
of public concern.
- Funding influences
the direction of science by virtue of the decisions that are made on
which research to support.
Chapter 4, The Physical Setting
- The change in
motion of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely
proportional to the mass.
- A great variety
of radiations are electromagnetic waves: radio waves, microwaves, radiant
heat, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, x rays, and gamma rays.
- The energy of
waves (like any form of energy) can be changed into other forms of energy.
4G Forces of Nature:
forces acting within and between atoms are vastly stronger than the
gravitational forces acting between the atoms.
- There are two
kinds of charges-positive and negative. Like charges repel one another,
opposite charges attract.
- Negative charges,
being associated with electrons, are far more mobile in materials than
positive charges are.
4E Energy Transformations:
- Heat energy in
a material consists of the disordered motions of its atoms or molecules.
- In any interactions
of atoms or molecules, the statistical odds are that they will end up
with less order than they began-that is, with the heat energy spread
out more evenly.
of energy usually produce some energy in the form of heat, which spreads
around by radiation or conduction into cooler places. Although just
as much total energy remains, its being spread out more evenly means
less can be done with it.
- The energy released
in each nuclear reaction is very much greater than the energy given
off in each chemical reaction.
4C Processes that
Shape the Earth:
- The formation,
weathering, sedimentation, and reformation of rock constitute a continuing
"rock cycle" in which the total amount of material stays the
same as its forms change.
4B The Earth:
- Life is adapted
to conditions on the earth, including the force of gravity that enables
the planet to retain an adequate atmosphere, and an intensity of radiation
from the sun that allows water to cycle between liquid and vapor.
- Weather (in the
short run) and climate (in the long run) involve the transfer of energy
in and out of the atmosphere.
- Solar radiation
heats the land masses, oceans, and air.
- Transfer of heat
energy at the boundaries between the atmosphere, the land masses, and
the oceans results in layers of different temperatures and densities
in both the ocean and atmosphere.
- The action of
gravitational force on regions of different densities causes them to
rise or fall-and such circulation, influenced by the rotation of the
earth, produces winds and ocean currents.
Chapter 12, Habits of Mind
Computation and Estimation:
- Use ratios and
proportions, including constant rates, in appropriate problems.
- Find answers to
problems by substituting numerical values in simple algebraic formulas
and judge whether the answer is reasonable by reviewing the process
and checking against typical values.
- Use computer spreadsheet,
graphing, and database programs to assist in quantitative analysis.
- Compare data for
two groups by representing their averages and spreads graphically.
- Trace the source
of any large disparity between an estimate and the calculated answer.
- Consider the possible
effects of measurement errors on calculations.
- Learn quickly
the proper use of new instruments by following instructions in manuals
or by taking instructions from an experienced user.
- Use computers
for producing tables and graphs and for making spreadsheet calculations.
- Choose appropriate
summary statistics to describe group differences, always indicating
the spread of the data as well as the data's central tendencies.
- Use and correctly
interpret relational terms such as if . . . then . . . , and, or, sufficient,
necessary, some, every, not, correlates with, and causes.
- Participate in
group discussions on scientific topics by restating or summarizing accurately
what others have said, asking for clarification or elaboration, and
expressing alternative positions.
- Use tables, charts,
and graphs in making arguments and claims in oral and written presentations.
- Notice and criticize
arguments based on the faulty, incomplete, or misleading use of numbers,
such as in instances when:
- Average results
are reported, but not the amount of variation around the average
- A percentage or fraction is given, but not the total sample size
(as in "9 out of 1- dentists recommend...")
- Absolute and proportional quantities are mixed (as in "3,400
more robberies in our city last year, whereas other cities had an
increase of less than 1%)
- Results are reported with overstated precision (as in representing
13 out of 19 students as 68.42%)
- Check graphs to see that they do not misrepresent results by using
inappropriate scales or by failing to specify the axes clearly.
- Wonder how likely it is that some event of interest might have
occurred just by chance.
- Insist that the critical assumptions behind any line of reasoning
be made explicit so that the validity of the position being taken-whether
one's own or that of others-can be judged.
- Be aware, when considering claims, that when people try to prove
a point, they may select only the data that support it and ignore
any that would contradict it.
- Suggest alternative ways of explaining data and criticize arguments
in which data, explanations, or conclusions are represented as the
only ones worth consideration, with no mention of other possibilities.
Similarly, suggest alternative trade-offs in decisions and designs
and criticize those in which major trade-offs are not acknowledged.