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Others Like “Frequency Histograms”

Project Idea
thumbnail 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… Read more
Weather_p005
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Computer with Internet access and a spreadsheet program (e.g., Excel)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Ocean currents have a huge impact on our weather. If not for the ocean currents, the global climate would be similar to an ice age. Do you live near the coast? Find out which currents are near your coastline. How do they affect your climate? Where do they come from? Do they bring colder or warmer water to your area? Are they seasonal? What do you think your area would be like without them? Every three to seven years there is a weather phenomenon called El Niño, which is caused by a… Read more
Weather_p023
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
Many continents contain large mountain ranges that divide the continent into different regions. In the U.S. the Rocky Mountains mark the continental divide. The presence of a large mountain range can have a big effect on seasonal weather patterns. Also, the weather and climate on one side of a mountain range may be very different from weather and climate on the other side of the range. In the case of the Rocky Mountains, the western slope and eastern slope each have very different climates… Read more
Weather_p022
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
What variables contribute to the properties of the soil in an area? Investigate the role of climate, weather, topography, time, parent material, vegetation, and biological and chemical agents on soil formation. How are soils characterized? There are 3 basic particle sizes which create three basic soil types: sand, silt, and clay. Investigate the properties of the three different types of soil by observing grain size, shape, hardness, color, chemical composition, pore space, aeration,… Read more
Geo_p034
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
Floods can be very destructive, capable of leveling whole towns and decimating crops and fields. Typically in regions prone to flooding there are cycles of flooding that occur, usually in areas where a wet season comes after a period of drought. You can use precipitation data to test if incidents of flooding have been preceded by periods of drought. Look for long periods of dryness in the precipitation data to indicate a drought. You can also conduct an experiment on dry or moist soil to see… Read more
Weather_p025
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
Unless you live in the Southern states, you only hear about the most destructive hurricanes. In fact hurricanes occur every year, even multiple times a year. Each hurricane is a tropical storm related to cyclones and tornadoes, some big and some small. Each hurricane is measured based upon several variables like: wind speed, diameter, direction of movement and speed of movement. Does the size of the hurricane correlate with the wind speed? What information can the eye of the hurricane… Read more
Weather_p026
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
Tornadoes are a very destructive weather phenomenon that is very hard to predict. Certain weather conditions can indicate if a tornado is likely to occur, but the path that the tornado will take is completeley unpredictable. Storm chasers are people who chase tornadoes and try to capture them on film or video. They often have a sense of predicting where and when a tornado will strike, but the best images are also due to a bit of luck and survival instinct. Even though tornadoes are… Read more
Weather_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
Get good photographs of the Moon showing lots of craters and count how many craters you find in a range of diameter classes. One useful source is the Consolidated Lunar Atlas (Kuiper et al, 2006). Make a histogram that shows the distribution of diameters. Most of these craters were formed during the first billion years of the Moon's formation, but you should confirm that this is true for the the Moon areas you've selected in your photographs by doing background research. Is cratering uniform… Read more
Astro_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
Here's an interesting project idea with a variation that combines computer science, physics and music. You'll need a piano in a quiet room, a microphone and a computer with digital sound recording and analysis software. The project shows you how you can make a piano string start vibrating without hitting its key. You can record the sounds on the computer, and use sound analysis software to measure the frequencies of the induced vibrations. For more details see: How to Make a Piano Sing. Be… Read more
CompSci_p026
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
The different species of wood used in construction offer a variety of challenges based on density, porosity, oils in the wood, flexibility, elasticity, etc. The intended use, e.g., structural or cosmetic, presents different challenges as well. The glue must be compatible with the wood, the use, and the climate, so many experiments are possible. For example, you could design an experiment to test the durability of different adhesives using the same wood. Or, you could try different wood… Read more
MatlSci_p027
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
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