Mrs. Clime's Weather Webquest

Introduction | Task | Resources | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion


Introduction:
 
Can you think of a time when you had something planned for a sunny, warm day, but it rained instead?  All of those plans were probably ruined.Many people rely on weather forecasts to plan different aspects of their day.  It is important to them that these forecasts are accurate.


The Task:
 
Every morning the CNN crew at Windy Hill Middle School gets the forecast for the day from the Accuweather web site.  There is even a link to it from the Media Center site.  Lately, Mrs. Voelker has noticed that the forecast lacks accuracy.  She wants to know if there are any better sites on the internet.   Since she knows your class is studying meteorology, she has asked Mrs. Clime for your help.  Your mission is to study how accurate the forecasts from 4 different sites are, and identify which ones are the best and the worst. Are you up to the challenge? 
For this assignment you will track the weather for three days, and compare this actual weather with the online weather forecasts of several prominent weather sites. Then you will create a large graph comparing how each of the four sites scored. You will use the graph to present your findings to the class.  If you prove that there is a better site than Accuweather, the CNN crew will get their weather forecast from the better site.


The Process:

You will need to complete the following steps to successfully complete your mission.

DAY 1: (Tuesday)


1.  You will be assigned to a team of 3 investigators.
2.  Your team will visit each of the weather sites listed in the Resources section of this webquest.
3.  Use the computers in the Media Center to access your sites.
4.  When you locate the forecasts, print off a copy that shows the next 4 days.
5.  Judge how easy this site is to understand the forecasts using the rubric in the RATING the SITES section of this webquest.

DAY 2: (Wednesday)



1.  As a class, we will compare the predicted forecasts for Monday's weather that Mrs. Clime gathered for you, with the actual weather for Monday.  We will fill in our data sheets together.
2.  Using the chart provided and the rating scale, Record a yes or no answer for High Temperature, Low Temperature, and Forecast.
3.  Now with your group, compare the predicted forecasts from each site that you got yesterday (Tuesday) with Tuesday's actual weather conditions from Mrs. Clime.  You will know it is accurate if the sites came within 3 degrees above or below the actual temperature.
4.  Using the chart provided and the rating scale, Record a yes or no answer for High Temperature, Low Temperature, and Forecast.
5.  Next, your team will again visit each of the weather sites listed in the Resources section of this webquest.
6.  Use the computers in the Media Center to access your sites.
7.  When you locate the forecasts, print off a copy that shows today's predictions.
8.  Judge how easy this site is to understand the forecasts using the rubric in the RATING the SITES section of this webquest.

DAY 3: (Thursday)


1.  With your group, compare the predicted forecasts from each site that you got yesterday (Wednesday) with Wednesday's  actual weather conditions from Mrs. Clime.  You will know it is accurate if the sites came within 3 degrees above or below the actual temperature.
2.  Now look at your data from all 3 days.  Compile your results and reward points to each site based on the RATING the SITES scale below.
3.  Graph your results on large paper.
4.  Plan a Press Conference to release your findings to CNN's Knightly News.  Identify the best and worst site, and be sure to provide examples and explanations.  Use your graph.
5.  Present this to the class.

Rating the Sites:
Evaluate each of the sites your group used, using the chart below. Assign scores to each site, then compare and contrast each site's score.
 
Easy to Understand
Very Easy
OK
Hard
3 Points
2 Points
1 Point
High Temperature within 3 degrees
3 days
2 days
1 day
No Days
3 Points
2 Points
1 Point
0 Points
Low Temperature within 3 degrees
3 days
2 days
1 day
No days
3 Points
2 Points
1 Point
0 Points
Forecast Correct
3 days
2 days
1 day
No days
3 Points
2 Points
1 Point
0 Points


Resources:
Each member of your team must choose one of the following sites to evaluate and collect data.
 
Weatherunderground
The Weather Channel
The Washington Post Weather
(for this site you must type in the zip code for Owings: 20736)
Accuweather


Evaluation:
 
You will be evaluated on this assignment on both the clarity and completeness of your graph, and the overall quality of your presentation.  To see rubrics detailing how you will be graded, see below:

Graph Rubric:

4
Labeled Correctly
Data Correct
Clear and Easy to Interpret
Neat, Colorful, Eyecatching
3
Labels are mostly correct
Data Correct
Fairly Easy to Interpret
Neat
2
Some labels are correct
Data mostly correct, with some errors
Difficult to interpret
Messy
1
Few or no labels are correct
Much of the data is incorrect
Extremely difficult or impossible to interpret
illegible- you cannot read the information

Presentation Rubric


4
Full Group Participation
Best and Worst sites identified
Examples Presented and discussed
Graph displayed and used in presentation
3
All except one member participates
Best and Worst sites identified
Examples presented
Graph displayed
2
Only one person participates
Best and worst sites identified
Examples only briefly mentioned
Graph not displayed
1
Hardly anyone in the group speaks
Best and worst sites not clearly identified
No examples presented
Graph not displayed


Conclusion:
 
Hopefully on the completion of this lesson you will have learned something about the nature of information on the internet and the need to examine it with a critical eye. You will have found that some information is of better quality than other information. Furthermore you will have organized information, made judgements and presented findings.