This lesson plan is intended for teachers to use with their middle school
students before they see the Science on a Sphere film, “Water Falls.” The
emphasis in this lesson will be on having students learn about the importance
of freshwater resources and understanding the processes that take place in
Earth’s water cycle.
This lesson plan is for teachers to use with students after they have seen the
Science on a Sphere film, “Water Falls.” The emphasis of this lesson is on
deepening students’ understanding of how and why we measure precipitation
across the globe. Students will look at TRMM data gathered during Hurricane
Sandy, and will learn how this data proved essential in helping scientists to
forecast where the hurricane was heading and how much precipitation they might
expect. Students will also learn how GPM will enable the collection of new
information on hurricanes. This lesson is expected to take about 45 minutes. It
has been developed for middle school students, but can be adapted to meet the
needs of younger or older participants.
In early 2014, NASA will launch an important satellite that will enable us to
learn more about our home planet. The Global Precipitation Measurement mission
(GPM), will provide us with the most sophisticated and accurate measurements of
global precipitation ever! In this webquest, you will learn a little about
this mission, and then will focus on the Earth’s water cycle.
Earth’s surface is a complex and dynamic set of interconnected systems -
principally the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. All of the
earth’s processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within
and among these systems. Weather and climate are shaped by complex interactions
involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, clouds, ice, land, and life
This Webquest has been developed to help you explore the wild and changing
world of weather and climate. Before we get started, take a few minutes to
think about what you already know about weather and climate. Use your
background information and personal experiences to answer the questions below
to the best of your ability.