Student Internet investigation or "webquest" that explores the subject of Earth's atmosphere. The activity is divided into three parts. Part one investigates the make-up and structure of Earth's atmosphere and the concept of air pressure. Part two explores how Earth receives energy from the Sun, the process of heat movement through the atmosphere and the water cycle. Part three investigates the effects of the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth, the Coriolis Effect and global/local wind patterns. The latest links containing images and data are presented as well for these topics.
I use this computer lab activity for my Earth/Space class as part of the Unit IX "Earth's Atmosphere" review but it can also be used as a basic middle school- level webquest introduction to the subjects. (Some students will finish the activity within one class period but generally it will take about an hour to complete.)
This activity as well as PowerPoint lessons, worksheets, review programs and assessments can be found under the Earth/Space Complete Unit IX "Earth's Atmosphere" zip file folder.
Terms/concepts in this activity include:
atmosphere, atmospheric composition, atmosphere formation, volcanic outgassing, photosynthesis, free oxygen, ozone, ozone layer, carbon dioxide, fossil fuels, clouds, troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere, ionosphere, air pressure, chlorofluorocarbons, CFC's, Sun's energy, Earth's energy budget, energy absorption, heat, radiation, conduction, convection, heat transfer, heat budget, hydrosphere, water cycle, evaporation, condensation, precipitation, changes of state, phase change, water droplets, clouds, Mars, Venus, air pressure, low-pressure, high-pressure, wind, convection currents, solar radiation, equator, Earth's rotation, Coriolis effect, solar heating, wind patterns, global winds, global wind patterns, doldrums, trade winds, prevailing westerlies, polar easterlies, jet streams, weather systems, local winds, sea breezes, land breezes