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Climate Variation Kit

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Describe the major processes that lead to Earth’s climate variation. In this series of 4 investigations, students explore the mechanisms that produce the patterns seen on a Köppen-Geiger climate map. They model how the tilt of Earth impacts light intensity, how different surfaces store and transmit solar energy, convection currents, and the Coriolis effect.

Curriculum Connection
While designed for a stand-alone earth science course, this series of activities could be incorporated into a high school chemistry course during a unit on types of energy and energy transfer.

Time Requirement
Teacher prep, 135 minutes. Completing the activities, approximately 2 weeks (300 minutes).

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectations
HS-ESS2-4. Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth's surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.

Crosscutting Concepts

Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.D: Weather and Climate

Science and Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should be familiar with features of a globe, such as hemispheres and lines of latitude and longitude, the difference between Earth’s rotation and revolution, an understanding of how light can be absorbed or reflected by matter, and the use of a protractor.


What’s Included:
Needed But Not Included:
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