Water Falls: Related Resources


Water Falls: Pre-visit Lesson

This lesson plan is intended for teachers to use with their middle school students before they see the Science on a Sphere film, “Water Falls.” The emphasis in this lesson will be on having students learn about the importance of freshwater resources and understanding the processes that take place in Earth’s water cycle.


Water Falls: Post-Visit Lesson

This lesson plan is for teachers to use with students after they have seen the Science on a Sphere film, “Water Falls.”  The emphasis of this lesson is on deepening students’ understanding of how and why we measure precipitation across the globe. Students will look at TRMM data gathered during Hurricane Sandy, and will learn how this data proved essential in helping scientists to forecast where the hurricane was heading and how much precipitation they might expect. Students will also learn how GPM will enable the collection of new information on hurricanes. This lesson is expected to take about 45 minutes. It has been developed for middle school students, but can be adapted to meet the needs of younger or older participants.


Water Cycle Webquest

In early 2014, NASA will launch an important satellite that will enable us to learn more about our home planet. The Global Precipitation Measurement mission (GPM), will provide us with the most sophisticated and accurate measurements of global precipitation ever!  In this webquest, you will learn a little about this mission, and then will focus on the Earth’s water cycle.


Weather & Climate Webquest

Earth’s surface is a complex and dynamic set of interconnected systems—principally the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.  All of the earth’s processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among these systems. Weather and climate are shaped by complex interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, clouds, ice, land, and life forms.
This Webquest has been developed to help you explore the wild and changing world of weather and climate. Before we get started, take a few minutes to think about what you already know about weather and climate.  Use your background information and personal experiences to answer the questions below to the best of your ability.


Rain Gauge Activity Lesson Plan

This is an inquiry-based hands-on activity that has been created to engage students in designing and testing out a rain gauge. The point of this activity is to provide a common experience from which we can illustrate engineering concepts and skills. As the new “Next Generation Science Standards” include an emphasis on engineering skills, science teachers need some examples of lesson plans that use science content as the context for including an engineering problem. Students are given a rationale for the need to measure precipitation, and then are presented with an engineering problem: “Design and make a rain gauge that can be used to measure precipitation.” They are given some easily obtainable materials and tools to use. After students have designed and made their rain gauges, they simulate rain falling, and then compare their results. The comparison of results leads to a discussion about the need for a standardized calibration system to be used to get precise measurements that are reliable. Students are then introduced to the Global Precipitation Measurement mission and learn how this mission will set the new calibration standard for measuring precipitation across the world.