Weather and Water, Second Edition

The FOSS Weather and Water Course focuses on Earth's atmosphere, weather, and water. A good understanding of meteorology as an earth science isn't complete without an introduction to the physics and chemistry that drive weather. Understanding weather is more than reading a thermometer and recording air-pressure measurements. Students first learn about atoms and molecules, air masses, wind, and heat transfer. Then they investigate phase chance and meteorology before looking more closely at the water cycle, ocean currents, and climate.

Investigations in this course:

  1. What Is Weather?
    Introduce the concept of weather and the tools that meteorologists use to measure and study weather factors.
  2. Where's the Air?
    Weather occurs in the atmosphere and the atmosphere is composed of air, which has mass and can be compressed.
  3. Air Pressure and Wind
    Investigate the relationship between changing air pressure and wind and explore a particle model for air pressure.
  4. Convection
    Develop the concept of density on the way to understanding convection as a process of mass movement of fluids and a mechanism for energy transfer.
  5. Heat Transfer
    Explore radiation as a mechanism for energy transfer, including seasonal variation of solar radiation.
  6. Air Flow
    Explore conduction to round out understanding of heat transfers, then deepen understanding of the causes of wind.
  7. Water in the Air
    Focus on the wet part of weather by investigating phase change to understand cloud formation and precipitation.
  8. Meteorology
    Pull together all the physical science concepts students learned in the course to explain weather.
  9. The Water Planet
    Learn that the water cycle is complex and involves water everywhere in the global environment.
  10. Climate over Time
    Refine the distinction between weather and climate and consider evidence for climate change.