Case Study: Keep Your Eye on the Sky - Clouds and Weather

Timeline: 2 class sessions

Marine Biology Students at Trinity Catholic High School in Ocala, Florida, used the extensive information on the included Web sites to research satellite technology, cloud formation, cloud types, and meteorological methods. They culminated their research by analyzing the clouds in the sky.

In the first class session students used online resources on satellites to understand the technology meteorologists use. Additionally, students used the online resources on clouds to learn about cloud structure and formation. The students spent one 45-minute class period working in groups and answering the provided questions pertaining to their storm. These topics included:

  • The various types of satellites
  • How scientists use satellites to monitor the weather
  • How clouds are formed
  • The characteristics of different clouds
  • How to interpret the weather based on clouds

After students collected information from the Web sites, they worked again in groups and spent the next class period outside viewing the sky. Students analyzed the clouds in the low-, mid-, and high-level atmosphere and categorized the clouds according to type. Once students gathered the data, they answered questions to assess their knowledge of the subject material.

These online resources gave students the opportunity to further expand their knowledge of clouds and weather. Through their research and analysis of the sky, students were able to fully explain how we can use clouds to predict the weather. All students were actively engaged in the entire process of this lesson. These online resources were excellent supplements to our curriculum, surpassing the information included in our textbook.

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