Three page lab. Uses data from 1950-2009 - students plot sunspot number over time. Here is an excerpt:
Introduction: Photographs of the sun show dark areas on its surface which are believed to be due to magnetic storms that take place within the sun. These spots are actually very bright, however they appear darker than the surrounding areas on the Sun because they are cooler. The number and pattern of these spots change with time.
When the data collected over many of years are graphed, a pattern emerges. This picture-like representation makes it easier to see relationships that are not obvious from a column of numbers.
Objective: You will see how graphing data can aid in deciphering patterns and predicting future events.