Unit 5 : Activity 5 : Latitude and Climate : Reason for the Seasons : Seasonal Delay : Reference Page : Unit Exam

Unit 1: How to Point to a Star
Unit 2: Where on Earth Are You?
Unit 3: Earth's Rotation and the Sun's Apparent Motion
Unit 4: Yearly Changes in the Sky
Unit 5: Seasons and Climate
Unit 6: Sundials
Unit 7: Navigation
Unit 8: Ancient Astronomy
Unit 9: Constellations

Activity 5

--Complete this activity prior to proceeding to Unit 5 --

In Unit Five you'll be looking at some factors that influence our climate and weather.  Here are a couple of experiments to "warm you up" for this unit:

1) You will need a thermometer for this one - one appropriate for measuring the temperature outdoors.  Take two containers that are made of the same substance and are the same size - for example, matching bowls, or plastic ice-cream buckets, or flower-pots without holes in the bottom, or tough plastic bags, or large soft-drink glasses from you favorite fast-food outlet.  Fill one with soil and one with water.  Put both of them into the refrigerator (or, for an even more dramatic effect, into the freezer) overnight.

(While you wait for them to freeze you could try part two of this exercise.)

When they are thoroughly chilled - or even frozen - take them out and put them in a warm place.  Measure the temperature at the surface of each lump every hour until you see a clear trend.

Which one warms up more quickly?

2) Take two icecube containers full of ice outside on a sunny day when the outside temperature is between 40 and 70' F.  (Or try this indoors if you have a window through which you get strong sunshine.)  Place one of the containers on a level surface and tip the other up so that it is facing the sun directly, as shown below:

Keep an eye on your setup - which ice cubes melt first?  Note:  You might want to put something under the tilted tray to catch the water!

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