This activity explores the urban heat island effect. Students access student-collected surface temperature data provided through the GLOBE program and analyze the data with My World GIS.
The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Step-by-step approach is good for many students, although it limits genuine inquiry.
Teachers will have to spend time familiarizing themselves with each step of this activity before having the students start.
Teachers could also download program and data before class to save time.
Students can disaggregate the data in a variety of ways -- by city size, latitude, location, ground cover type, etc.
Comments from expert scientist: Uses real data rather than model output for students to see the differences in temperature around the city. Connection to real surface data sampling is excellent and critical as the students can also experience the temperature changes as they move about their own city and more rural suburbs to reinforce the lesson. Some of the mitigation technology resources are dated, like the cool roofs and the cool pavements.
Scaffolding includes a sample of a completed report for students and teachers to use as a model.
Students develop their skills by learning how to import real student data into a GIS and manipulate/display it to investigate features of the data.
This is, however, a "recipe" exercise with little real inquiry - just comprehension questions along the way. There are some extension exercises at the very end.
Activity can't be completed without MyWorld GIS, which can be downloaded with a free trial.
Computers need to have sufficient hard drive capacity for the program to be downloaded.
Students need access to computers for several class periods.