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Project Ideas
Looking for more ways to make the weather & climate a hot attraction? Here are eight ideas that you can turn into individual or classroom projects.
Check out Weather & Climate Student Resource Bookwhich includes similar activities.
  1. Glass Act.
    Fill a glass with ice water. In a few minutes, jot down what you see happening both on the inside and the outside of the glass. What do you think is the connection between the two? Now fill another glass with ice water. Add a few drops of food coloring and wait a few minutes. What color is the water on the outside of the glass? Where did this water come from? Read your notes about the other glass. Have your thoughts about what is happening changed?
  2. Wild Weather Scrapbook.
    Start collecting articles and photos from newspapers and magazines. Focus on one weather topic, or wait to see what the wind blows in. Include any unusual or strange weather stories that interest you. You may create your own drawings or diagrams, keep a list of weather events you hope to witness, or interview someone you know who?s had a special weather experience.
  3. One Terrific Twister.
    On the afternoon of March 18, 1925, thousands of people in three states (Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois) experienced one of the most devastating weather disasters on record. This Tri-State Tornado, ranked an F5, destroyed four towns, killed 695 people, and injured 2,000 more. Along with the number of deaths it caused, this tornado also held the record for the longest tornado track and the longest continuous time on the ground. Research more recent storms to find out if the Tri-State Tornado still holds these three records.
  4. Look Up.
    Every day for a week, go outside at the same time and observe the clouds. Record what kind of clouds you see (cumulus, stratocumulus, cirrostratus, nimbostratus, etc.) along with the weather conditions. At the end of the week, review your notes and look for weather patterns that the different clouds indicated.
  5. The Power of Observation.
    Snow is not frozen rain. That?s sleet. Snow is a crystal of ice that forms around a microscopic particle of dust or bacteria in the atmosphere, where it is generally less than 5°F (-20.5 °C). To look at snow, you need a microscope that's been chilled way below zero. Anything warmer than that will melt the flake. There are seven basic types of snow crystals: plates, star shapes, columns, needles, spatial dendrites, capped columns, and irregular crystals. Find out which types are the most common where you live, and create a sketch of them.
  6. Hot Enough for You?
    Make a map that shows the weather patterns in your area of the country; you can focus on your town, county, or state. Include the name and characteristics of your climate zone and the type of winds that breeze through. From which direction do weather changes or storms generally come? Is there a certain type of storm that is common in your area? How much do temperatures vary from season to season? How much precipitation falls?
  7. Surviving the Weather.
    Think of eight weather events that we aren't able to change or control. Research and write down what we can do to prepare for each one of them. Then use your notes to come up with survival kits for the four most likely weather events in your area. List the supplies you'd need to cope with the weather these events bring.
  8. The Big Melt.
    Pretend that you've been assigned to a presidential commission to study global warming. You learn that it is causing the polar ice caps to melt. How will this melting ice affect the Earth? Study maps to learn where ocean currents will carry the water and how it will change weather patterns. Which areas of the world are in danger of flooding or of becoming deserts? Which big cities might be affected?