superstorm '93 case study project
Statement of Purpose:
Case Study of SuperStorm '93 is an Internet-based weather curriculum
for 9-12 grade students. This project investigates weather processes and
phenomena associated with a potent winter storm.
Students will learn to work with archived weather data, recording
observations and analyzing trends in the data in order to construct a
culminating project idea. Students complete selected scaffolding
activities that will best equip them with the skills necessary to
finish their project.
Meteorological phenomena and concepts available for students to
investigate include: atmospheric pressure, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC),
interpreting weather maps, low pressure
centers, identifying fronts, air masses associated with midlatitude cyclones,
role of fronts in development of precipitation and the anatomy of a
The targeted duration for a complete case study is 2-3 weeks class time,
though the scaffolding activities may be used independently for those who
are restricted to smaller time frames.
The curriculum begins with students accessing selected archived weather
images and collecting surface observational data for temperature, dew point
temperature, wind speed and direction and weather conditions (weather
symbols) for three cities.
It is suggested that students choose cities in different quadrants of the
storm (one north, one south and one directly in the storm's path), to
gain a better understanding of the varying weather conditions from one side
of a cyclone to the other.
Culminating project ideas are constructed from the
data (a list of suggested project questions
Students engage in scaffolding activities,
to learn the skills and meteorological "know how" necessary
for completing the culminating project. Each activity requires (on average)
90 minutes of class time. Students will typically
need to complete
two or three scaffolding activities for most projects.
Students need to be comfortable using a web browser and
working with data is a plus.
Necessary meteorology resources are available to
students through direct links strategically inserted
into the curriculum pages.
start up activity