Weather and Climate Seasons
Weather as a topic in school opens up many interesting learning areas. Everyone experiences the weather and can recognise different types such as rainy, sunny or windy.
Activities and Ideas
Drawing different types of weather and identifying types of weather in literature, painting etc. How is weather used to create moods?
- Recognising different climates and seasons (including monsoons and tropical weather). Are the seasons the same all around the world? Does being in a different hemisphere affect which season it is? With a basketball and torch, show how the earth being tilted causes the seasons during its revolution around the sun (but the earth spinning on its own axis causes day and night). What is the climate like where you live, and which months fall into which seasons?
- Thinking of things that are affected by climate and season, such as sport, growing fruit and vegetables, tourism etc.
- Looking at weather information from all around the world, using the Internet. Look at different websites and discuss whether they are easy to use. Can you learn a few weather words from a different language?
- Creating your own weather instruments. Windsocks are easy and fun to make, as are rain gauges. You can make a wind vane to find out the direction of the wind. The Beaufort scale is a simple way to estimate wind speed. (See the end of this article for details.)
- Taking measurements and representing information. Think about how weather is shown on TV or in the newspapers. Is it simple to understand? Make your own descriptions about the weather, such as 20Â°C might be cool for someone in Darwin, but for a person in Hobart in winter, that sounds warm!
- Identifying the physical processes that create weather (such as evaporation, condensation and freezing). What happens to puddles? Why do we feel cool when we hop out of a pool when the wind is blowing? What are clouds made of? What things come out of clouds? (such as rain, hail, snow, storms, tornadoes)
Other Resources at the Weather Bureau
The Bureau can send out an information pack for teachers, containing pamphlets on issues such as interpreting satellite images, climate variability, UV forecasts and recognising cloud types. One pack per class only â€“ please call Public Affairs on (03) 9669 4564.
The main exhibition area is in Melbourne at Head Office, Ground floor, 150 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Visits primary through to tertiary, maximum 30 students, one-hour visit. Bookings on (03) 9669 4564/4668. The Bureau of Meteorology also has many offices around Australia that conduct school visits and tours. Contact the Meteorological office nearest to you.
For Victorian schools we have developed nine Weather Kits that may be taken out on loan, with funding from the Victorian Department of Education, Employment and Training (DEET). Each kit contains 30 weather-related instruments, instructions and suggestions on activities and other resources. These will shortly be available through your regional science coordinator. Please contact the Public Affairs Office at the Bureau of Meteorology.
Other learning programs, references, and ideas are listed below.
Schools of the Pacific Rainfall Climate Experiment – http://www.evac.ou.edu/sparce/index.html
- The Sparce project has many aims including:
- To increase meteorological instrumentation across the Pacific, and incorporate collected observations into a comprehensive database for climate research.
- To foster interest and increase awareness among students and teachers of the need for cooperation among different nations in investigating potential climate change.
- To educate students and teachers about the importance of rainfall (particularly in the Pacific region) to climate studies.
- To provide students and teachers with an opportunity to make a major contribution to the global climate research effort by collecting and analysing Pacific meteorological data.
- To foster scientific and cultural exchange between students from different countries.
Monash Science Centre
Offers a number of programs, activities and resources, including school visits.
Details: tel/fax: 9905 1370