first report for the class weather book, and make a report to the school. Again, the work began with a discussion. What were some of the ideas that the students had about the weather after all this measuring and recording? Were any patterns observed? Many students thought the temperature was getting lower; several noted that if it was windy one day, it rained the next day. As ideas were presented, other students agreed or challenged what was said. Mr. H. listened and wrote the ideas on a chart as the students spoke. When the discussion quieted, he turned the students' attention to the list and asked them to think about which of the ideas on the board they might actually be able to confirm by reviewing the data. They listed several and agreed on the following list for a starting place: Is the temperature getting lower? What is the relationship between the direction of the wind and the weather the next day? What happened when the pressure went down or up? Was it colder when it was cloudy?
Mr. H. reminded the students of some ways they might represent the data to help them in the analysis; he then assigned tasks, and the students returned to their groups. Several days later, the work was well under way. One group was working on a bar graph showing the total number of sunny, cloudy, and rainy days; another had made a temperature graph that showed the daily fluctuations and showed the weather definitely was getting colder; an interesting table illustrated that when the pressure dropped the weather usually seemed to get worse. The next challenge was to prepare an interesting report for the school, highlighting all that had been learned.
The weather class continued to operate the weather station all year. The students became quite independent and efficient in collecting data. The data were analyzed approximately every 2 months. Some new questions were considered, and the basic ones continued. Midyear Mr. H. was satisfied that the students understood the use of charts and graphs, and he introduced a simple computer program that the students could use to log their data.
Not only did students learn to ask questions and collect, organize, and present data, they learned how to describe daily weather changes in terms of temperature, windspeed and direction, precipitation, and humidity.