## Comparing Surface Temperatures

Materials:

• Heat lamp
• Stand
• Clamp
• Infrared Thermometer
• 6 beakers each of sand, water, gravel (other items can be used, or more than 3 can be added)
• Meter Stick
• Handout with instructions, data collection, and questions (Google Doc)

Directions:

Day 1:

Explore the campus on a sunny day and select both natural and manmade surfaces and record data. Enter data into spreadsheet – what patterns do you notice?

HW: Read newsela article and answer questions, discuss next class, how does this relate to our findings today?

Day 2:

Set up heat lamp experiment for a minimum of 25 minutes, make predictions, which surface will heat up the most? How hot will it get? What location (1-6)? Enter data and discuss results.

HW: Lab write up and discuss results next class

This was the first time I did this experiment, and seeing the results definitely had the ‘wow’ factor with my 6th graders, seeing the temps was actually surprising, esp for the rocks under the heat lamp. Many students thought the sand would be the hottest from their experience walking on hot sand at the beach in July/Aug. Also, the surface temp of the playground was surprising since it was a rubbery light colored composite and not dark colored asphalt. Prior to this activity, we took notes and discussed heat – radiation, convection, and conduction, and notes on sunlight and how it causes the seasons and different climates on Earth. Under the heat lamp, position 1 was analogous to being at the equator while position 6 was at the poles. The Google Sheets will automatically graph your results once the data is entered.

If you use this activity, would love to see your results!

## Heights Lab – How tall is the average 7th grader?

This introductory lab is a fun way to analyze data and the students look forward to finding the results each year. Who will be taller, boys or girls? Will we be taller than last year’s class? You can really analyze the data in multiple ways, you can also add the concept of min, max, mode, and range in addition the mean, you can look for trends, and you can talk about sample size, etc…

Materials

• Heights Lab Introduction and directions (Google Slides)
• Heights Lab Template (Google Doc)
• Construction paper taped to wall/column
• Metric Tape Measures attached to wall or column over paper
• Marker
• Ruler

## What days are the busiest in the Maternity Ward?

Description

This lesson can be used as part of your unit on reproduction, a stand alone lesson to practice collecting and analyzing data, or as part of a math lesson on statistics. This lesson can be extended in several different ways: you can add graphing, plotting data using a stem and leaf (link) for the dates, finding min, max, mode, averages, etc…

The students enjoy this lesson because it is a fun way to analyze their birthdays and many students didn’t know what day of the week they were born on.

Resources

• UPDATED July 2020:
• it will make a copy of the form that you can edit and send to students
• it will make a copy of the doc that you can edit and send to students
• Perpetual calendar – make a calendar for any year (link)

## Graphing Spring Tides, Neap Tides, & Moon Phases

This activity ties together spring tides, neap tides, moon phases,  chart reading skills, graphing skills, and analyzing data skills. When making the worksheets, I used the data for high tides since it showed a better range of data for the students to create the graph.

This activity was also a good review on how to create line graphs by hand for two sets of data. Students are used to making bar graphs so we reviewed how to set up line graphs and plot points on the graph.

When plotting the data, you can really see the differences in the tidal heights. We also used the phrase “Neap ain’t that deep” to remember the difference between spring tides and neap tides.

Worksheets

• Atlantic City, NJ – January 2015 High Tide Data worksheet (pdf)
• Seaside Heights, NJ – February 2015 High Tide Data (pdf(image link)
• For example, in the year 2015, the February 18 new moon will closely align with perigee and the the September 28 full moon will closely coincide with perigee, to bring forth perigean spring tides.”~EarthSky
• Blank Worksheet (pdf) for students to choose data from a different location.
• Tide charts (link– select the state and city of your choice, set for Atlantic City
• Current Moon Phases (link– The Old Farmer’s Almanac

## Using Real-Time Data: NOAA & Tides

I love when we have an opportunity to collect real-time data in class, as part of our unit on tides, we used NOAA’s website (link) to learn how to find real-time tide information, to learn how to read tide graphs and charts, and to find water temperatures for 10 different stations and compare their data. The kids enjoyed picking their own cities and sharing their findings.

Resources:

• Tides Google Slides Public (link) – this is a shared Google Slide that gives some basic information on tides and then it goes into a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the NOAA website to collect information.
• Data Collection worksheet (pdf) – students will record and analyze their data

The second activity, included graphing information for high tides at Atlantic City for the month of January. Students will learn how to read a tide chart and graph tide data to see the relationship between tides and moon phases. This activity was also a great way to practice graphing skills. Creating graphs by hand, instead of on a computer, is something that they don’t get to do very often.

• January Tides Worksheet (pdf) for Atlantic City, NJ.
• Blank worksheet (pdf) for students to choose data from a different location.
• Tide Charts (link) – set for New Jersey but you can pick different states and locations for monthly tides data.
• For more lessons about the Moon, visit the Moon Page, under the Space Science tab.