Hurricane Sandy, Her Brothers and Sisters – How to Mitigate Hurricane Damage

Contributor
Stephen Farnum, TUVA Labs
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Graph , Interactive Simulation , Lesson/Lesson Plan
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

Students use TUVA Labs data analysis and data literacy tools to describe and interpret hurricane data from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center about recent North Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms. They research storm damage related to hurricanes and create a proposal for placement of a new hurricane damage mitigation structure. The interactive program provides an introduction to the issue of hurricane mitigation using an essential question, a task, and an anchoring phenomenon. Students read and respond online to questions to progress through the lesson.

To create a map, in the Dataset view, students select “Latitude” as the y-axis and “Longitude” as the x-axis from the attributes column, and also select “Name” a scatter plot is created showing the path of individual hurricanes including Hurricane Sandy and 19 other hurricanes in the North Atlantic region. Students would need to refer to a map showing the East Coast of the United States and the Atlantic Ocean to align the coordinates of the hurricanes with landmasses to determine possible sites where future hurricanes will make landfall.

In order to save the scatterplots and other charts they create using the data tool, students could use a “Snipping Tool” or other application to copy and paste the diagrams into a Word document to save for future reference.

The data in the table can be manipulated by the students to show various relationships, such as the relationship between latitude and wind speed. Each data point has a link to information about the storm – name, location, barometric pressure, etc. Students can review and revise their responses. The teacher can assess and comment on their postings online.

Tuva Labs requires that teachers register and then add their students. The data lab is free. The lesson would take several days to complete, depending on the depth of analysis of data.

The link to the data set: https://tuvalabs.com/datasets/hurricane_sandy_her_brothers_and_sisters/activities

The link to the lesson plan: https://tuvalabs.com/datasets/hurricane_sandy_her_brothers_and_sisters/activities/view/405

Teachers should note that limited information is provided for guiding students to successfully complete the lesson. It may be most appropriate for students who have met expectations and need additional challenges. 

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 6
  • Middle School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how some natural hazards, such as volcanic eruptions and severe weather, are preceded by phenomena that allow for reliable predictions, but others, such as earthquakes, occur suddenly and with no notice, and thus are not yet predictable. Examples of natural hazards can be taken from interior processes (such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions), surface processes (such as mass wasting and tsunamis), or severe weather events (such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods). Examples of data can include the locations, magnitudes, and frequencies of the natural hazards. Examples of technologies can be global (such as satellite systems to monitor hurricanes or forest fires) or local (such as building basements in tornado-prone regions or reservoirs to mitigate droughts).

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The lesson plan and the provided data set address the Performance Expectation. Students create an evidence-based proposal for the location of a new hurricane mitigation structure based on the analysis and interpretation of data on tropical storms and hurricanes. They analyze the data to forecast future hurricane damage and design possible structures and technology to reduce their effects on human population and infrastructure. Tuva Labs provides multiple data points for approximately 20 tropical storms and hurricanes in a graph and table, with over 600 data points in all.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students study graphical displays in the forms of graphs and tables. In order to design the best mitigation plans they must consult the charts and maps they create using the datasets as well as a globe or map of the Atlantic Ocean and the US East Coast. In order to save the scatterplots and other charts they create using the data tool, students could use a “Snipping Tool” or other application to copy and paste the diagrams into a Word document for their future reference. The students analyze large data sets to determine the temporal relationships in the sequence of data for each of the 20 storms contained within the set. They study spatial relationships as they determine the location of each storm.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Through the manipulation of the variables longitude and latitude, students determine the location of 20 previous Atlantic Ocean hurricanes. Students would need to refer to a map of the East Coast of the United States and the Atlantic Ocean to align the coordinates of the hurricanes with landmasses. Using the coordinates of the hurricanes from the datasets and a globe with landmasses and population centers, students can forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events in choosing the location of a mitigation device. The lesson doesn’t cover geologic forces such as volcanism or erosion – these would need to be addressed in another lesson.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students manipulate the variables to create various graphs. They study charts and tables to identify patterns in data. Images are not a focus of the activity, but students would probably encounter multiple images as they research the paths of hurricanes or study various mitigation devices. The teacher may need to provide resources such as past track maps of US Landfalling Major Hurricanes at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/ or Hurricane Preparedness – Hazards at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/hazards.php. Possible mitigation devices can be found at http://www.weready.org/hurricane/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36&Itemid=35.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The lesson contains grade-appropriate elements of the science and engineering practice of interpreting and analyzing data as students manipulate the variables in the data set and determine the paths of previous hurricanes. A link to causes of deaths due to Hurricanes http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/general/WWW000/text/Hurr_Death.html provided to the students points out that most mortalities are due to flooding which guides them in determining types of mitigation approaches to consider. Hurricanes and tropical storms are addressed in the disciplinary core idea of natural hazards. The crosscutting concept of patterns is used when they analyze the data. The lesson integrates the three dimensions as students make sense of phenomena of hurricanes and design solutions to the problem of flooding.

  • Instructional Supports: The lesson engages students in an authentic scenario of hurricane damage that reflects the practice of science and engineering as experienced in the real world. It provides students with a purpose when they analyze the paths of numerous hurricanes and determine the location of a mitigation device. The questions encourage students to engage in the practice of analyzing data and the crosscutting concept of patterns. All of the data can be downloaded in an Excel or CSV chart, which may help students in finding patterns. The lesson doesn’t provide opportunities for students to connect their explanation to a problem to their own experience unless they live in an area affected by hurricanes. The teacher may want to use this lesson during hurricane season when such weather patterns make the news on a regular basis. The lesson develops a deeper understanding of the three dimensions by identifying and building on information obtained from the dataset. It uses scientifically accurate and grade-appropriate scientific information, phenomena, and representations to support students’ three-dimensional learning. It provides opportunities for students to express, justify, and represent their ideas although some of the questions are a vague and may not provide enough guidance. Students are not asked to respond to peer and teacher feedback. Teachers should note that limited information is provided for guiding students to successfully complete the lesson. It may be most appropriate for students who have met expectations and need additional challenges. Little guidance is provided to support differentiated instruction, although the program allows the teacher to make changes to the questions and save them so the lesson could be differentiated for various levels. The link to copy and modify the lesson (as additional button on right side of screen) is https://tuvalabs.com/datasets/hurricane_sandy_her_brothers_and_sisters/copy/405/, which allows the teachers to change the lesson plan and the online directions and questions for the students. Suggested extension activities provide additional areas of study for those who have met performance expectations. The “Assign” link allows teacher to see student answers and progress, to grade the assignment and leave comments to the students. Links to an explanation of the Dataset, Keywords, a Glossary, and a Tutorial Video are included. Under the Resources link, a Graph Choice Chart provides information about choosing graphing options based on the type of question the learner is thinking.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The lesson elicits direct, observable evidence of three-dimensional learning by students as they analyze the data and design possible solutions to flooding. No formative assessments are included in the instruction, but the program allows students to submit their answers online and the teacher can provide written feedback. No rubrics or scoring guidelines are provided to help in planning instruction or providing ongoing feedback to students. Some of the questions are vague, so scoring guidelines would be helpful. Others are leading “What evidence … preventing flooding” provides the answer for the students. The lesson elicits direct, observable evidence of three-dimensional learning by students as they analyze the data and design possible solutions to flooding. No formative assessments are included in the in struction, but the program allows students to submit their answers online and the teacher can provide written feedback. No rubrics or scoring guidelines are provided to help in planning instruction or providing ongoing feedback to students. Some of the questions are vague, so scoring guidelines would be helpful. Others are leading “What evidence … preventing flooding” provides the answer for the students.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This interactive simulation allows students to change the variables so the data is displayed in multiple aspects, with each graph providing insight into the behavior of hurricanes.