Grade Range
Kindergarten-5th
Group Size
4
Total Time
45 minutes
Area of Science
Weather & Atmosphere
Key Concepts
prevailing winds, wind direction, local winds
Credits
TeachEngineering logo

Overview

Students learn the difference between global, prevailing, and local winds. They make wind vanes out of paper, straws, and soda bottles and use them to measure wind direction over time. They analyze their data to draw conclusions about the local prevailing winds.

Engineering Connection

Understanding the patterns and behavior of global and localized winds enables engineers to design technologies that protect us from wind and exploit the energy of wind. Engineers design roofs, bridges, shelters, and airplanes that endure heavy winds. They design advanced weather prediction models and storm warning systems. They invent wind turbines that generate electricity from wind energy, and determine the best locations to site wind farms.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Asking Questions and Defining Problems. Define a simple design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process, or system and includes several criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems. Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account.
Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World. People's needs and wants change over time, as do their demands for new and improved technologies.

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Grade Range
Kindergarten-5th
Group Size
4
Total Time
45 minutes
Area of Science
Weather & Atmosphere
Key Concepts
prevailing winds, wind direction, local winds
Credits
TeachEngineering logo
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