Event-Based Science


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Event-Based Science meets National Science Education Standards!

 


Tornado!

Event-Based Science is a new way to teach middle school science. It is an award-winning, standards-based program in which newsworthy events establish the relevance of science topics; authentic tasks create the need-to-know more about those topics; and lively interviews, photographs, Web pages, and inquiry-based science activities create a desire to know more about those topics.

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barometer wind storm storms

Tornado!Tornado! is an Event-Based Science module about weather. It uses the 1994 Palm Sunday tornado that struck the Goshen United Methodist Church in Piedmont, Alabama, to establish the context for exploring weather concepts.
  Tornado! places your students in one of six different National Weather Service Forecast Offices in the Midwest. As the staff of the forecast office, students acquire then use their knowledge about tornadoes, high and low pressure systems, fronts, weather radar, and dew point to track a developing severe weather situation. When conditions worsen, your students will record, then broadcast emergency warnings to their surrounding communities.

NSTA Recommends Tornado!


As with all Event-Based Science modules, much of the information that students need to complete the task is provided in the pages of Tornado!. However, your students will do a better job if they have information about the communities around their weather stations. They will also get a better feel for what it's like to work in a forecast office if they see real-time warnings as they are posted by the weather service.

Below are some World-Wide Web sites where these kinds of information are available. Click on the highlighted words and be instantly linked with helpful information.


Tornado! Resources

A "pdf" file containing web sites, books, material lists, and correlations with National Science Education Standards.
Use the BACK button in your browser to return to this page.

HTML version


EBS Breaking News
Click here to use Google News to search and browse 4,500 continuously updated news sources for breaking news about tornadoes.


HELPING TORNADO VICTIMS

One way to engage your students in the topic of tornadoes is to have them support families who were directly affected by a recent tornado. Begin your search for ways to help with these two organizations:

The American Red Cross

Salvation Army

 

Links to Tornado! related WEB Sites

(Links are checked monthly. They were working on the date of the last update.)

  • Current Weather Warnings This site posts all severe weather warnings that are currently in effect throughout the United States. The wording of these announcements will help you word the warnings you "broadcast" to the areas surrounding your forecast office.
  • Tornado Data by State This site presents a chart of the average number of tornadoes, and tornado deaths for each state from 1961 to 1990. It also reports the number of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles for each state.
  • Tornado Data Archive Access to state data, special reports, and maps. 
  • Today's Weather Forecast This site contains the official US Weather Service forecast for the lower 48 states and links to other real-time weather-related data.
  • USA Radar This site contains the current weather-radar map of the United States. Be sure to try the looping option.
  • SSEC Realtime Data The Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) is a global leader in the analysis and distribution of geostationary satellite data. This page presents pictures intended solely for qualitative analysis of global weather. The picture sets at this site represent just a portion of the digital scientific data available in real time at SSEC.
  • Surface Weather Map This site contains a surface weather map of the United States with reports from selected U.S. Weather Service Forecast Offices. The symbols on this map are similar to the ones in the Make the Code, Break the Code! science activity in Tornado!.

Tornado From USA Today

USA Today

  • How to Read a Surface Weather Map This site will also help students with the Make the Code, Break the Code! science activity in Tornado!.
  • U.S. Census Bureau Maps and population information that will help you to better understand the community around your weather station.

Video - Tornado May 4, 2007 - Ellis, CO

 

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