Under Pressure

This week, you will have the opportunity to learn all about air pressure.  At home, you will be doing some reading about air pressure as well as conducting some experiments.  Here’s the list of activities for you to do to learn all about pressure:

1.  Go on to the National Weather Service Jet Stream On-Line Weather for School site.  Read the entire site and then select two out of the first four “Learning Lessons” to do.  Keep notes on what you find out.

2.  Go onto Weather.com and click on maps and a current weather map.  Take a look at the fronts and the high and low pressure areas.  What types of weather is currently taking place around those fronts?  Write down your thoughts on your notes sheet.

3.  Go onto Weatherbug Achieve.

  • Enter the classroom
  • Enter your zip code:  01742 (submit)
  • Select your school name Alcott (submit)
  • Select your grade:  4 (submit)
  • Click on Exploration Zone (in the left column)
  • Select Measuring and Forecasting Weather, Grades 4, 5
  • Select the Air Pressure interactive lesson.

4.  Now for some tasty fun!

You are receiving two marshmallows to take home to experiment with.  Please follow the below instructions:

1)  Cut one of the marshmallows in half and write observations on your note sheet about the inside of the marshmallow.

2)  Write a hypothesis for what you think will happen when you heat up the marshmallow in a microwave oven.  Remember that your hypothesis should include what you think will happen and why you think that.

3)  Place the whole marshmallow on a MICROWAVE SAFE PLATE.

4)  Place the plate in the microwave oven with ADULT SUPERVISION.

5) Heat at MEDIUM for 45 seconds, watching the marshmallow as it heats.

6)  Write down observations on your notes sheet.

7)  Now take the marshmallow out of the oven being very careful not to burn yourself, the marshmallow will be very hot.

8)  Discuss your results on your notes sheet.  Why do you think this happened to the marshmallow?

9)  Eat and enjoy both marshmallows!

5.  By Friday, you will need to respond to the following questions on the blog:

a.  What is air pressure?  Describe how air pressure works.  What did you specifically learn by doing some of the experiments?

b.  What are high and low pressure areas?  What types of weather are they associated with?

c.  How is air pressure measured?  What can you tell from these readings?

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21 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by EC20 on December 8, 2010 at 1:54 am

    A. What is air pressure? Describe how air pressure works. What did you specifically learn by doing some of the experiments?
    Air pressure is when the atoms in the air hit the earth or any other object and transfer little bits of pressure.

    What I learned from these experiments is the following:
    1) If air pressure is on only one side of a object it weighs a lot more than if air pressure is on both sides pushing in to the object.

    2) If the air pressure is stronger on the inside of two objects than the outside it might cause them to be pushed together.

    B.What are high and low pressure areas and what types of weather are they associated with?
    Some high pressure areas and the weather they are experiencing today (12/7/10) are the northern plains-normal sun; east of Texas-rain; and the north east of Washington-rain, ice, snow.

    The only low pressure area in the US today is North Western Texas which is experiencing rain and spot of snow.

    C.How is air pressure measured? What can you tell from these readings?
    Air pressure is measured by a barometer in inches of Mercury or Millibars. I can tell from these readings the amount of atoms that are hitting the surface of the earth. Another thing you can tell from these readings is what the weather is, because if the air pressure is low than it will probably be stormy and if the air pressure is high than it will probably be sunny.

    Reply

    • Posted by EC4 on December 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm

      wow EC20 you did great!

      Reply

    • Posted by EC18 on December 8, 2010 at 10:55 pm

      Nice job EC20! 🙂

      Reply

    • Posted by ec11 on December 8, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      Nice Job! You have a lot of detail!

      Reply

    • Posted by EC13 on December 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm

      a) What is air pressure?Describe how air pressure works.What did you specifically learn by doing some of the experiments?
      Answer- Air pressure is when atoms or molecules hit the earth and shatter into tiny bits of air pressure.
      b)What I learned while doing some of those experiments-

      1)That air has a lot of weight.
      2)High pressure means that air has a lot of pressure and Low pressure has barely any pressure.

      c)What are high and low pressure areas?What types of weather are they associated with?
      Some high pressure areas and the weather they are associated are
      (12/o7/1o)are the northern plains in east Texas and the north-east of Washington has rain,ice or snow.
      Low pressure areas are in the north-western Texas which has rain.
      e)How is air pressure measured?
      Air pressure is measured by a barometer in inches of Mercury or
      Millibars.You can tell the amount of atoms hitting the earth at that time.The second thing you can tell is that if the mercury in it is rising that mean’s it’s going to be a fair,sunny day.If the mercury is falling that mean’s that it is going to be a foul,cloudy
      day.

      Reply

  2. Posted by ec15 on December 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    a. High and low pressure is the force the air has.

    Air pressure is the weight in air and determines the weather.

    I learned that air has weight and air pressure sometimes determines the weather.

    b. A high and low pressure area is wind rising is high and wind dropping is low.

    They are associated with wind air weather.

    c. Air pressure is measured by a barometer in millibars.

    You can tell like what the weather could be.

    Reply

  3. Posted by EC6 on December 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    1) What is air pressure? Describe how air pressure works. What did you specifically learn by doing some of the experiments?
    A) Air pressure is when the atoms and molecules hit any surface such as the earth and transfer little bits of pressure.
    B) During the experiments,I learned air surrounds our bodies, and all things, the pressure, as a result of the air, is applied equally on all sides.So if someone holds an 8½x11″ sheet of paper by their hand at arms length, the weight of the air directly above the sheet is over 1,300 pounds. That is very heavy, especially for air, which most consider weighs nothing.

    2) What are high and low pressure areas? What types of weather are they associated with?
    Some high pressure areas today (12/8/10) are: Missouri, Florida, and the intersection of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. Some low pressure zones are South-East Texas and Wyoming. Most high pressure zones have rain, ice, or snow. The low pressure zones have none of that type of weather, just clear skies.

    3) How is air pressure measured? What can you tell from these readings?
    Air pressure is measured with a barometer with mercury or millibars. I can tell from these readings the amount of atoms and molecules hitting the planet. You can also tell from these readings what the weather will be like, because if the temperature is 29.95*(or something like that) or lower, it will probably be stormy, and if it’s above than it will probably be sunny.
    * if I got this wrong, feel free to correct me.

    Reply

  4. Posted by EC-8 on December 9, 2010 at 12:27 am

    A) Air pressure is the weight of air at any point of earth’s surface. Air pressure pushes down and causes pressure on the earth. I learned that air has weight. I know this because when I popped one balloon, the other baloon went down from its weight.

    B) High pressure happens where there is a lot of weight in the air and low pressure happens when there isn’t a lot of weight in the air. High pressure happens when there isn’t precipitation, but there is a lot of wind. Low pressure is where there is a lot of precipitation and not much wind.

    C) Air pressure is measured by barometers. In different types of weather, baramoters mean different things like in very hot weather, the fall of the barometer detects thunder.

    Reply

  5. Posted by ec9 on December 9, 2010 at 2:01 am

    a. Air pressure is the weight of air on the earth which creates pressure.

    Air pressure works when molecules in the air make the air more pressurizing and makes the air more dense which changes weather.

    What I learned from my experiment was that high pressure and low pressure interact with each other. I put two cans parallel to each other. I blew and I created a low pressure area. The high pressure near the low pressure pushed the two cans toward each other.

    b. High and Low pressure is when the air has a lot pressure which is high pressure and not a lot of pressure which is low pressure.

    (7/12/10) I noticed in the low pressure areas there was either rain or no weather at all. In the high pressure areas there was either rain or no weather at all. There was snow bet there was no pressure areas near it.

    C.Pressure is measured in Millibars and Inches of Mercury.

    What I can learn from these readings is how much air pressure is there and if it is above usual sea level pressure. If it is lower or higher it can change the weather. Like if it is lower it will be stormy and if it is higher the weather will be nice and sunny.

    Reply

  6. Posted by EC2 on December 9, 2010 at 2:01 am

    A. Air pressure is the weight of air. It’s everywhere on earth’s surface and below that. I learned from the “National Weather Service Jet Stream On-Line Weather for School” website to do an experiment with a yardstick, 2 balloons, and string. If you pop one balloon attached to one end of the yardstick, the other end drops down because of the weight of the air in the balloon.

    B. High pressure is when the air gets really heavy. And low pressure is when the air gets light.

    C. You can measure air pressure with barometers. If the barometer drops that means that it’s going to be stormy and if it goes up it’s going to be sunny.

    Reply

  7. Posted by EC4 on December 9, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    a.) Air pressure is the weight of the air above the Earth’s surface. One of the experiments that I did was when you blow between the two cans and they smashed together. I noticed that when I blew softly it did not work but when I blew hard they smashed together right away.
    b.) The high pressure areas are:
    1. Indiana
    2. Kentucky.
    3. Nebraska
    4. Illinois
    5. South Carolina
    6. Georgia
    7. Alabama
    8. New Mexico
    9. Arizona

    The low pressure area is:
    1. North Dakota
    2. South Dakota.
    The Western part of the country is mostly light rain.
    The Eastern is mostly rain, ice and snow.
    The Southern is clear.
    The Northern (only low pressure area) is mostly light snow.

    c.) Air pressure is measured with a barometer. If the barometer is falling the pressure is decreasing. If the barometer is raising the pressure is increasing. If the barometer is unsteady the pressure is unsettled.

    Reply

  8. 1. What is air pressure?
    Air pressure is the weight of the atmosphere pressing down on the earth.
    2. Describe how air pressure works.
    Air is all around us everywhere the change in the presser helps things to move.
    3. What did you specifically learn by doing some of the experiments?
    The air pressure in the marshmallow makes it expand because the air wanted to get out of the marshmallow.
    4. What are high and low pressure areas?
    They are different atmospheric pressures.
    4. What types of weather are they associated with?
    Low pressure brings strong winds and heavy rain,
    High pressure brings sunny days with no rain.
    5. How is air pressure measured?
    Air pressure is measured by a barometer.
    6. What can you tell from these readings?
    Air pressure is connected with weather.

    Reply

  9. Posted by EC18 on December 10, 2010 at 1:11 am

    1. What is air pressure? Air pressure is the weight of air all around the earth. What did you specifically learn by doing some of the experiments? I learned by doing the can experiment that when you blow, the pressure on the inside was stronger than the outside, which causes the cans to roll together.

    2. What are high and low pressure areas? When I went on Weather.com, (12/6/10) some high pressure areas were:
    a) Louisiana: nothing
    b) around Canada, Washington, Idaho, and Montana: nothing
    c) Canada, North Dakota, and Minnesota: nothing but tiny dots of heavy snow/flurries
    Observation: there is nothing on all of these – most likely because high pressure usually means no rain and sunny days
    Low pressure areas:
    a) Canada: spots of snow and flurries
    b) Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado: rain/ice/snow and rain/drizzle
    c) Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota: rain/ice/snow and rain/drizzle
    Observation: everything sounds pretty bad, rain and drizzles, snow and ice. Probably because low pressure means bad weather.

    3. How is air pressure measured? Air pressure is measured by a barometer. What can you tell from these readings? Pressure usually predicts weather. Also, pressure is very complicated and very interesting.

    Reply

  10. Posted by ec19 on December 10, 2010 at 1:36 am

    a. What is air pressure? Describe how it works. What did you specially learn by doing some of these experiments?

    Air pressure is the weight of the air above any point on the earth’s surface. When things get hot the air pressure rises when things are cold the air pressure lowers. When things have high air pressure they expand. When things have low air pressure they indent or shrivel up.

    b. What are high and low pressure areas? What types of weather are they associated with?

    The high pressure areas are:

    • Colorado
    • Texas
    • Wyoming
    • Utah
    • Idaho
    • Kentucky
    • Ohio
    • Indiana
    • West Virginia
    The low pressure areas are:
    • South Dakota

    They are associated with temperature and weather conditions.

    c. How is air pressure measured? What can you tell me from these readings?

    Air pressure is measured by a barometer, by (Hg) or in milibars. I can tell you that air pressure from under something can cancel out air pressure above things.

    Reply

  11. Posted by ec11 on December 10, 2010 at 1:37 am

    a. What is air pressure?
    Air pressure is the weight from the atmosphere pushing down to cause pressure on the earth.
    Air pressure changes almost all the time. There is air everywhere so when there is pressure pushing down on the earth, things can move easier.
    By doing some of the experiments, I learned that air pressure kind of keeps things down not so they won’t go up but so they don’t stay up.
    b. Some paces that have high air pressure are:
    The southern boarder
    In the midwest
    Some places that have low air pressure are:
    The east coast
    The west coast
    in the north
    c. Air pressure is measured with a barometer. A barometer is kind of like a thermometer but instead of measuring temperature it measures air pressure. Instead of having mercury or alcohol, a barometer is measured with inches of mercury or with millibars. When the mercury or millibars are low, it means that there is low air pressure and when there is low air pressure, the weather might not be as good as you want it to be. When the mercury or millibars are high the air pressure is high and when the air pressure is high, you probably have a beautiful day. When there is a change in air pressure, expect a change in weather too.

    Reply

  12. Posted by ec14 on December 10, 2010 at 1:57 am

    What is air pressure and how does it work?

    Air pressure is how hard atoms or molecules push when they bounce off a surface. Denser air has higher air pressure because there are more molecules to push on a surface than air with low density.

    While doing these experiments I learned that air weighs a lot. It is harder to push something through the air than to have the air move around it. I also learned
    that if you blow between two parallel cans they go toward each other instead of going away from each other. This is because when air speeds up the pressure goes down. The pressure between the cans becomes low enough that they get pushed together by air pressure on the outside of the cans.

    But what I thought was the most fun and interesting was the marshmallow. I thought that the marshmallow would melt when I put it in the microwave but instead of melting the marshmallow puffed up about the size of a fist! The marshmallow puffed out because there were little air bubbles inside the marshmallow that you can see if you look really closely. In the microwave, the air bubbles expanded and inflated the marshmallow.

    A high pressure area is an area of dense air. A low pressure area is an area with low density. Low pressure areas are made by heating an area that causes the air to expand and the density goes down. When a high-pressure area and a low-pressure area meet it is called a front and when a low pressure area rises above cold dense air it rains.

    Air pressure is measured by a barometer, which measures how far air pressure can push mercury into a tube.

    Reply

  13. Posted by EC5 on December 10, 2010 at 2:05 am

    1. What is air pressure???
    Air pressure is weight of air around the world.

    2.I saw the map again today and the H and L had changed a lot!
    where were the high pressure?
    1.Utah
    2.Colorado
    3.Arizona
    4.New Mexico
    5.Georgia
    6.Alabama
    7.Ohio
    8.Indiana
    9.Kentucky
    10.Wisconsin
    Where are the Low pressure places?
    1.Alberta
    2.British Columbia

    3. The test was really easy.

    4. Inside of the marshmallow it was sticky but smooth on the outside. It also had pretty much no holes.
    When I was worming up the marshmallow it got bigger and bigger. I thought it would explode!
    It looks shiny and has little bumps.

    Reply

  14. Posted by EC7 on December 10, 2010 at 2:38 am

    A) Air pressure is the weight of the air around the world.
    I learned from the activities that
    1) The balloon that was not out of helium was weighing the yard stick down.
    2) The newspaper was heavier to lift than the pinter paper.
    B) The areas that showed high pressure are
    1. Georgia
    2. Utah
    3. New Mexico
    4. Arizona
    5. Colorado
    6. Wisconsin
    7.Indiana
    8. Ohia
    The places that showed low pressure were
    1. British Columbia
    2. Alberta
    3. South Dakota
    For the high air pressure the weather was mostly light snow or a drizzle. For the low air pressure the weather was mostly light rain or a heavy snow.
    C) A barometer is the instrument that measures air pressure.
    If the barometer drops it is going to be a stormy day and if it rises it will be a sunny day.

    Reply

  15. Posted by ec21 on December 10, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Air pressure is the pressure of all the molecules. It is the weight of air. When I blew between the cans, they came together. The speed of the air between the cans was high, so the pressure was low. The pressure outside was high, bringing the cans together.

    High pressure area is associated with calm weather. Low pressure is associated with precipitation.

    Air pressure is measured with a barometer in inches of mercury or millibars. From the number you can tell if it will rain or snow or be nice.

    Reply

  16. Posted by ec17 on December 10, 2010 at 11:50 am

    A. What is air pressure? Describe how air pressure works. What did you specifically learn by doing some of the experiments?
    Air pressure is little molecules floating around and exerting pressure. The molecules are either side of you helps you stay balanced. If you stopped the molecules of one side of you, like when you vacuum, you will fall backwards or forwards. You can feel air pressure if the amount is unequal on two side of the paper.

    B. What are high and low pressure areas? What types of weather are they associated with?
    A high pressure area is an area of air that has higher pressure than standard pressure at sea level. A low pressure area is lower than the standard pressure area. Low pressure is associated with stormy weather. High pressure is associated with clear skies.

    C. How is air pressure measured? What can you tell from these readings?
    Air pressure is measured by a barometer. You can predict the weather with a barometer.

    Reply

  17. Posted by ec12 on December 10, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    1) Air pressure is weight on any point on the earth’s surface created by air. I learned this on the weather bug archive test.
    2) I think that high pressure is when all the wind and air currents which carry the weather are being pushed away from areas of high pressure. Low pressure areas are spots where there is very little pressure. When high pressure comes in and meets a different pressure front, it creates a thunder storm.
    3) A barometer is a instrument that measures air pressure. It works in inches of mercury. When the air pressure goes up, the mercury goes up. And when the air pressure goes down the mercury goes down. On the side of the barometer is a scale so that as the mercury moves you get a clear reading of the air pressure.

    Reply

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