YOUR WEATHER

Teachers' Notes KS3 and 4

Weather Labs is a science engagement activity for Key Stages 1-4. Weather Labs focuses on measuring, recording, experimental method, and data analysis.

A range of skills and knowledge areas are covered. These include, at the most basic, the processes of setting up simple instruments and reading their displays, to at the more advanced end, understanding the use of data in prediction.

KS3 and KS4 guidelines

These guidelines can be adapted to suit your classroom needs. We suggest using the forecast between 2 and 24 hours ahead of your chosen timeslot.

  1. Decide the location where you will monitor the forecast. This could be your school, STEM club or a local green space. Check you know its postcode. Decide the time slot in which you will monitor the forecast.
  2. Weather Labs allows you to measure temperature, humidity, wind velocity, wind direction and cloud cover. Will your class have time to measure all of these or will you have to be selective? Choose which weather phenomena you wish to measure and decide the instruments you will use to collect your data. You can build your own devices - have a look at Test the weather forecast, or use the devices readable online through LGFL. Be sure you have thought about how to make your measurements valid.
  3. When you have decided which phenomena you will measure and decided how you will measure them, go to our forecast page - Your Weather - and enter the location postcode where you'll be monitoring.
  4. View the 24 hour forecast.
  5. Hit "download data sheet" for the time of the forecast you are going to monitor. This will automatically generate a spreadsheet in a new tab. The time and location for this weather forecast is already entered for you, as are the forecast data. Just fill in your school name.
  6. Save this spreadsheet to your computer. You can also print it out if you wish to record data on paper first.
  7. Make your weather instruments or access the LGFL online instruments. Carry out your weather observations during the time slot you have chosen on the forecast. Pupils can work in large groups or in pairs. If you're using your own weather instruments groups can make the same instrument and compare the results they get.
  8. Save the sheet as an Excel, Open Office or Neo Office file.
  9. The sheet will automatically produce a report and graphs of the differences between the forecast and your observations.

The records you have made are valuable data. With our partners at Manchester University, we will be studying what they reveal, and publishing the results on this site. send your saved spreadsheets to planetscience@tinopolis.com. Please name in the format WeatherLabspostcodedate.

Extension activities for KS3 and 4

Have some groups obtain a forecast 24 hours before you measure the weather and other groups obtain a forecast closer to the measuring time. Does accuracy of the forecast change? Why is this important?

Discuss how to make your measurements valid. What makes some measurements more valid than others? Ask your pupils to work in pairs. Do measurements differ between pair groups? Discuss what might cause this.

We would be very interested to hear of any school experiences using this data. Please do write to us at planetscience@tinopolis.com.

Weather Data Experiment

weather Schools across the UK can report local weather to help improve forecast
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