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Cold, Clouds, and Snowflakes DLESE Reviewed Collection
Snow and ice are both precipitation, that is, the processes that remove water from clouds. Clouds, regions of the atmosphere with high relative humidity, are made of droplets of water and perhaps bits of ice. Even though water is much denser than air, these droplets and ice crystals are small enough to be suspended by random upward air motion. When these droplets or crystals join together, gravity overcomes the suspending force and we have precipitation. In this lesson, students will investigate NASA satellite data to determine geographical areas where wintry precipitation may have occurred based on cloud top temperature. They will explore the relationship between the amount of water vapor and the temperature of clouds, as well as snowflake shapes and cloud temperature.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Intermediate (3-5)
  • Middle (6-8)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
    • Lesson plan
Subject:
  • Atmospheric science
  • Climatology
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
  • Mathematics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
This product is free and clear for general use.
DLESE Catalog ID: MYND-000-000-000-052
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • K-4:
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Changes in earth and sky
    • 5-8:
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
  • National Geography Standards:
    • The world in spatial terms:
      • How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: Dr Lin Chambers
NASA