*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.
Can you remember what the weather was like last week? Last year? Here's a project that looks at what the weather was like for over a hundred years. You'll use historical climate data to look at moisture conditions in regions across the contintental U.S. You'll use a spreadsheet program to calculate the frequency of different moisture conditions for each region and make graphs for comparison. Which part of the country has the most frequent droughts? The most frequent periods of prolonged rain? The most consistent precipitation? Here's one way to find out. Dry Spells, Wet Spells: How Common Are They?
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If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Statisticians use the power of math and probability theory to answer questions that affect the lives of millions of people. They tell educators which teaching method works best, tell policy-makers what levels of pesticides are acceptable in fresh fruit, tell doctors which treatment works best, and tell builders which type of paint is the most durable. They are employed in virtually every type of industry imaginable, from engineering, manufacturing, and medicine to animal science, food production, transportation, and education. Everybody needs a statistician!
The atmosphere is a blanket of gases, surrounding Earth, that creates our weather. Meteorologists study the measurements and motion of the atmosphere, and changing events within it, so that they can predict the weather. This weather forecasting helps the general public and people who work in industries such as shipping, air transportation, agriculture, fishing, forestry, and water and power better plan for the weather, and reduce human and economic losses.
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