Key Stage 3 Science Resources

Resources for 11-14 Year Old Students

Your climate, your life

Online, interactive lessons on climate change from NGfL Cymru here and here

A short video from Teachers.tv on Degrees of Change.

Teachers TV looks at climate change timeline

An Inconvenient Truth the climate change film pack (look under essential reading and DCSF lesson resources)

Met Office climate introduction

Operation Climate Control game

Climate change and information from Ice Cores from WAIS divide.

A NASA introduction to the Earth’s Energy Budget – scroll down to “Balancing our Planet’s Energy Budget”.

Key Stage 3 Maths Resources

Resources for 11-14 Year Old Students

 

Lots of recommended links

A depression based activity using Living Graphs.

Have a look at the Barometer – a regular podcast featuring weather and climate issues from the University of Manchester.

Texas Instruments’ ‘Using Real World data’ booklet contains two projects for KS3 maths – ‘Compare the Weather’ and ‘Hurricane Force’. Although the instructions assume access to their software, the projects could easily be adapted.

An online, interactive lesson going from weather data collection through to forecasting from NGfL Cymru.

Teachers TV looks at The Great Storm of 198

Climate Change Graph

 

You will need: 120 multicoloured lollipop sticks (at least 10 sticks each of 6 colours), PowerPoint, lollipop.xls, blue tack or similar

  1. Beforehand, mark on the middle of each lollipop stick. On each stick, write the year and the temperature for one of the data points in the spreadsheet (e.g. 1970 14.47), differentiating between global and CET data. Use a different coloured lollipop for each decade – so the 60s are all one colour etc.
  2. You’ll also need to print a blank graph – the spreadsheet supplied will work on A3 paper.
  3. Divide the students into two groups. Within each group, divide out the lollipop sticks.
  4. They should then work together to stick the sticks to the graphs in the right places.
  5. When they’ve finished, ask them to complete the table on the ppt.
  6. What does their graph show? What surprises them? What are the similarities and differences between the graphs?
  7. Next, they should take the sticks back off the graph and, within their groups, line the sticks up in temperature order with the coldest on the left and the warmest on the right.
  8. What does this show?

Leaves as Thermometers

Leaves as thermometers

Leaf shape changes with climate. Generally smoother leaves are found in warmer climates and more jagged leaves are found in cooler climates.

Because the shape of the leaves change with climate, fossilised leaves are used to help learn about past climates.

By studying different types of plant they can gather climate information, such as annual temperature range and water availability that corresponds to the time when the plant was living.

This graph shows the relationship between the temperature and the percentage of smooth leaves found together:

leaf graph

The main problem with this method is that lots of samples are needed to get a good picture of the past climate. 

Using the graph, work out the approximate mean annual temperature if the following leaves were found together:

 

smooth and jagged edged leaves

This resource was originally developed by the Climate Change Schools Project

How Does the Weather Affect You

Use this table through the week to record how the weather has an impact on your life:

 

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

What was the Weather Like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect what you wore?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect what you ate?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect what you drank?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect how you travelled?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect your health or how you felt?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect your school, work or leisure activities?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classroom Behaviour and the Weather

Behaviour and the weather

Overview

This project aims to extend students’ ideas and knowledge on correlation using the Weather Observations Website (WOW) website. It focuses on looking at the possible link between the weather and behaviour in schools

The project is more suited for KS4 pupils but a high ability KS3 class could probably cope with its content. It involves pupils drawing scatter graphs or using spreadsheets if they have access to computers.

The ideas here can be taught in a few lessons using these resources or they can be made into a mini project lasting longer.

Teachers can adapt the ideas to suit their needs and tasks can be extended.

For example pupils could design a survey to collect information on behaviour in their own school and gather local weather data using the WOW website. It has possible cross curricula links with maths.

Objectives

To develop knowledge and understanding on correlation between two variables.

To investigate if there is a link between behaviour in schools and the weather.

To use the WOW website to gather data on past weather observations.

To design a survey to collect information on behaviour in your school.

To gain experience in recording data in tables and spreadsheets.

To build on pupils’ ability to draw and interpret graphs.

Introduction

In this task you are going to analyse the weather data for a certain town and establish if there is a correlation between weather and behaviour. For instance, do pupils behave better or worse if it is windy?

The behaviour of the pupils was judged by their teachers over four weeks in the month of March and their behaviour was given a score by their teachers on a 1 to 8 scale.

Behaviour scale

The behaviour scale is determined by the teacher with 1 being excellent behaviour from the class and 8 being behaviour that is seen to be unacceptable from that class for that teacher.

 Behaviour no. Behaviour shown
 1 No interruptions from the class
 2 Very few interruptions to the lesson
 3 When they are completing their own work some pupils get distracted
 4 A few pupils start to distract each other and lose focus for longer periods
 5 Level of noise starts to increase and more off task behaviour is seen
 6 Pupils are distracted from their work and find it difficult to work
 7 Lots of interruptions to the lesson from a range of pupils both in their own work and when listening to the teacher
 8 Constant interruptions to the lesson, unable to work in the lesson

Worksheet exercise

Ask the students to use the worksheet to draw a graph. If time and resources permit they can gather their own data from WOW. Alternatively they can use the data from the completed worksheet.

Worksheet 1

Answers for Teachers

Extracting the weather data from WOW 

[the WOW website has changed a little since these instructions were written but it should be clear how to access the data]
 

1. Go to the WOW website address and search for station 3034 or St-Athan.

2. Click on the St-Athan weather station on the map.

3. Click on ‘View Full Observation’.

4. Click on the Graph tab.

5. Click on the ‘Show Filters’ tab and then the ‘Filter Options’ drop down box. Select ‘Air Temperature’ and ‘Wind Speed’, set the date range to the first week of observations, then click Update Graph.

5. To obtain the wind speed readings – go to the correct day and estimate the wind speed reading at 12:00. Fill this in the table of results.

The reading on 27/07/2020 at 12:00 is 9 mph. So write 9 mph for the wind speed.

6. Repeat this for each day of the week and then reset the date range for the next week. Do this by clicking the ‘Show Filters’ tab and then the ‘Filter Options’ drop down box, then ‘Update graph’.

Web page reproduced with permission from the Met Office.

Predict the Graph

For each of the situations below, can you predict what the microclimate might look like by sketching a line or curve on each of the graphs? Each graph shows one measurement, marked with a red dot. 

  • It is a sunny, calm day in the middle of summer. You are making measurements of the air temperature, 1m above the ground, near a large, deep pond, in the afternoon.
graph

Justify the shape of your sketched line: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • It is a clear, cold, calm day in early winter. You are making measurements of the air temperature, 1m above the ground, near a large, deep pond.
graph

Justify the shape of your sketched line: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • You are making measurements of the humidity of the air, near a large, deep pond on a calm clear day.
graph

Justify the shape of your sketched line: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • You are making measurements of the air temperature, 1m above the ground, near a large, tarmacked car park on a sunny, calm summer’s day.
temperature graph

Justify the shape of your sketched line: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • It is a clear, cold day in late winter. You are making measurements of the air temperature, 1m above the ground, near a large, heated building. Add an appropriate x axis as well as a temperature line or curve to this graph:
graph

Justify the shape of your sketched line: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Where would you put…?

Have a look at the National Trust page for Lyme Park – a stately home near Manchester, to get a feel for what the Park looks like.

Now go to streetmap.co.uk and search for Lyme Park (which is in Cheshire).

You can explore Lyme Park on various maps using the Zoom Control:

The 1:50 000 map is an Ordnance Survey map which shows you grid references, contours and the boundary of the National Trust land (shaded purple).

The 1: 25 000 map is also an Ordnance Survey map with more detail. The boundary of the National Trust park is now shown as a dashed pink line.

Think about the following items:

  • A wind turbine
  1. What sort of location does it need (thinking about the microclimate)?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Suggest a six-figure grid reference for somewhere in Lyme Park that would be a good place to situate a wind turbine ___________________
  • A bench
  1. What sort of location does it need (thinking about the microclimate)?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Suggest a six-figure grid reference for somewhere in Lyme Park that would be a good place to situate a bench ___________________
  • An Ice House (this was a building used to store ice through the year before freezers were invented)
  1. What sort of location does it need (thinking about the microclimate)?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Suggest a six-figure grid reference for somewhere in Lyme Park that would be a good place to situate an ice house ___________________
  • A weather station?
  1. What sort of location does it need (thinking about the microclimate)?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Suggest a six-figure grid reference for somewhere in Lyme Park that would be a good place to situate a weather station ___________________

Investigating the Location of Official Weather Stations

Go to the WOW weather observations website wow.metoffice.gov.uk and, under filters, select only ‘official observations’.

Choose a weather station to investigate and use the map to zoom in on exactly where it is.

  • Name of weather station______________________________________
  • Describe the location of the weather station as precisely as you can – which towns or villages is it near, which roads are nearby? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you can, take a screen shot of the location of the weather station and paste it in your work.

 

Now use https://www.google.co.uk/maps/ in a separate tab of your web browser and try and find the location of the weather station (it might not be precisely where it is shown on the WOW website – it could be 10m or more away, so look around a bit). Go to satellite view and zoom in as far as you can – can you find the weather station in the satellite image? If you can, take a screen shot of the location and paste it into your work.

Thinking about the local microclimate and what can affect it, why has this official weather station been placed where it is? Try and list at least 4 factors:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Can you think of any other reasons for why the weather station is where it is  – for example due to how easy it is to access?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Particulate Matter, ice, albedo and melting – Teacher’s Notes

In this experiment the students will look at the effect of Particulate matter or other substances that have landed on ice and test how this can speed up the melting of ice by affecting its albedo. Particulate Matter and aerosols are made up of a variety of pollutants, some of them enhancing and some counteracting the greenhouse effect when they are in the atmosphere. But once they land on snow or ice, they will promote the melting of these surfaces.

Chemistry Curriculum Links AQA GCSE

9.2.3. Properties and effects of atmospheric pollutants

Particulate Matter is a pollutant that absorbs at many different wavelengths, some act as greenhouse gases and others actually reflect more light than they absorb, leading to a reduction in the temperature of the atmosphere. When they (or Black Carbon in particular) deposit on snow and glaciers, they change the albedo (the reflectivity) of the snow surface. This controls the heat balance at the surface of snow and ice surfaces as the darker colour of the ice will lead to it melting faster.

 

Particulate Matter is solid particles that are so small that they float in the atmosphere and can be measured as a concentration in the atmosphere. They are formed from incomplete combustion of wood and fossil fuels. PM smaller than 2.5 microns (2.5 x 10-9 m), PM2.5 , is much smaller than the width of a human hair and can enter into our lungs and be carried into the blood system and cause damage to the brain and the cardiovascular system.

Uncertainties to do with the quantities of the different particles in the atmosphere (and the fact that particles enhance cloud formation) are part of the biggest current uncertainty in climate models.

Class Practical 

This experiment can be carried out in pairs or larger groups and takes about 20 minutes.

Follow the notes in the student worksheet, allowing more time to discuss what particulate matter is, what is albedo and how sunlight is absorbed differently by different coloured substances.

Discussion Questions

  1. Which ice cubes melted faster? Was it what they expected?
  2. Did all groups get similar results? Can we compare the melting rates as a % of original mass and see if they are similar between groups? What is the error in the melting rate of the 3 types of ice cubes?
  3. Does covering them with brown or black melt them faster?
  4. What are the possible errors in the experiment?

Application to the World’s Glaciers:

Glaciers around the world are more exposed to particulate matter now than they ever were before the industrial revolution and the increase in industry and cars over the last century. Covering snow and ice with a dark layer changes the albedo and they absorb more heat and melt quicker than the pure ice.

Particulates are tiny solid or liquid particles that are present in the atmosphere. They are sometimes termed aerosols when they float in the air. Examples are dust, spores and pollen, salt from sea spray, volcanic ash and smoke. Black carbon (elemental carbon (soot) or organic carbon) from incomplete combustion in the atmosphere can actually absorb incoming solar radiation and cool the Earth. However, when these particles land on ice, the absorption of radiation will enhance the ice´s melting.

References

Iain Stewart BBC black ice experiment

UN Environment programme, 2019: Glaciers are melting and air pollution is the cause

See bar chart of radiative forcing of various gases or particulates in Fig 14.4 Ramaswami et al., 2019