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TERC, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College (SERC)


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science and Design Thinking

Resource Types

  • Experiment
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Assessment
  • Video, 1 minute, 54 seconds
  • Video, 2 minutes, 5 seconds
  • Video, 2 minutes, 41 seconds
  • Video, 30 seconds
  • Video, 1 minute, 57 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media
  • Video, 9 minutes, 3 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus




Extreme Weather Lab

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  • This interactive digital lab is divided into four sections where students explore the evidence of climate change, learn about extreme weather and climate variability, and use climate models to analyze and predict future climate conditions. 
Teaching Tips


  • This lab is thorough and includes several ways for students to assess their learning throughout the activity.
  • The included videos, interactive media, and data in the linked websites will give students a well-rounded understanding of the material. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be comfortable with data sets, graphs, maps, models, and following complex directions.
  • Students will need access to a computer and Internet connection for this lab.
  • The linked resources and models provide data that is continuously updated from NOAA, NASA, and NCAR to provide students with current information and data, even though one of the questions discusses an older report.


  • This lab will be best suited in science classes, but could also be utilized in math or computer science classes working with data sets and mathematical modeling.
  • Each lab section can be done separately, so include them as they fit in with your content.
  • This lab is well suited as a multi-lesson unit in which students work on each section separately. 
  • For students working in groups, assign each student a different task to change in the models, then have the group members compare their findings.
  • Formatively assess student learning by choosing one question from each section to have students reflect and respond. 
Scientist Notes

This resource introduces students to understand the difference between climate variability and climate change, explore datasets to depicts temperature trends and anomalies. There are no scientific misconceptions in the resource and is recommended for teaching.

  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS2: Earth’s Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-4 Use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to the problem.
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