Graphing Maryland Weather (30-40 minutes) > Print/View All Notes
Before the activity begins, have students turn to page 10 of their Engineering Portfolios. Students will use the weather data from their charts to create a bar graph in their Engineering Portfolios. They will choose the type of severe weather event that they are most interested in, and they will use data from the chart to create a bar graph that shows how frequently this type of weather occurred from 2002-2012.
You may offer students the option of creating their bar graphs online using the graphing tool on Kids' Zone . If you choose this option, be sure to visit the site in advance so that you may better assist students.
Review the parts of a bar graph with students before they begin. They should use the x-axis to indicate the year, and the y-axis to indicate the frequency of the severe weather event they chose. Remind students to consider the range of data they will need to graph when deciding on the scale of their graphs. (If students choose to graph tornadoes, for instance, they will need to ensure that their y-axis will allow them to graph up to 27 tornado events.) Encourage students to represent more than one value per grid square—for instance, one square equals two data points so the y-axis values increase by 2s.When they are finished, encourage them to share and compare their graphs with other students.
For students who would like an extra challenge, suggest that they create a graph showing the total number of severe weather events for each year. Alternatively, they could choose one year and compare the frequency of different weather events in that year.
When they have finished, have your students explore the "Did You Know?" section in the sidebar to learn about technology used to collect weather data. Explain to your students that once meteorologists have this data, they can use it to predict what the weather will be like in the future.