Science Class May 2002

Welcome to Science Class, NSTA's monthly electronic newsletter for science educators. Every month, Science Class features a curriculum topic that is supported by a range of NSTA-approved teaching resources: news stories, Internet "SciLinks," NSTA journal articles (sorted by grade level), books, and more. In addition, every issue includes a column on professional development, as well as NSTA news highlights. We hope you enjoy this new product from NSTA. Make sure to let us know how you like it—and how we can make it better.



Do you live in a warm climate or a cold one? Wet or dry? And what was the weather like outside today? Was it consistent with your climate or a deviation?

As scientists are quick to point out, climate and weather are in fact two different things. While weather describes whatever is happening outdoors in a given place at a given time, climate refers to the long-term average of a region’s weather events (i.e., it’s a measure of the typical weather found at a place).

Of course, climate and weather are very closely related, and it is common to study them together. As such, this month’s issue of Science Class addresses some key climate- and weather-related questions that you can explore with your students. These questions include:

  • How do scientists predict climate and weather trends?
  • What variables (e.g., proximity to the equator, atmospheric conditions, ocean currents, etc.) affect climate and weather, and in the case of climate, what factors are contributing to long-term global changes?
  • What is the impact of climate and weather on plant and animal life, including humans?

Thank you for your positive response to last month’s issue of Science Class. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as you are (no doubt) enjoying the long-awaited warmth of springtime!

Climate and Weather in the News

Article summaries provided by the NSTA Web News Department (

Virtually all scientists agree that Earth, as a whole, is gradually warming. But what factors (natural vs. manmade) are contributing to rising temperatures, and what has the impact been on the world’s ecosystems? Two recent news stories explore the causes and effects of global warming. A third asks: What should policymakers do about it?

Read the latest news stories:

Climate and Weather on the Net

SciLinks is an interactive, Web-based service that connects your lesson and/or course materials (textbooks, supplemental titles, and journal articles) with online content chosen just for your selected topics. Members can search by keyword or phrase and receive a list of teacher-approved Internet resources.

Elementary: What is Weather?

Intermediate: Severe Weather$

High School:  Global Warming and Global Climate Change

Climate and Weather-Related NSTA Journal Articles

The following journal articles are sorted by grade level to provide you  with ideas for classroom lessons and activities related to climate and weather.



High School:

Books on Climate and Weather

Check out these titles from NSTA Press:

Professional Development

Why develop a professional development plan? Without explicit goals, it is hard to get results. Goals represent what people commit themselves to do. Treating your learning in a hit-or-miss way is akin to walking into your classroom with no idea about what you want to do and what you want to accomplish.
Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (2002)

Click here to read more:


Develop your career by serving on the NSTA Board of Directors or Council. 

Apply for NSTA Outstanding Teacher awards

NSTA Honors Science Educators for Outstanding Achievement

Send NSTA Your Great Elementary Interdisciplinary Lesson Plan

NSTA Adds California to "Building a Presence" Program

NSTA Institute Welcomes New Partner:

Apply today to The NEA Foundation for your grant!

NSTA Member Poll

How do you intend to use NSTA's Science Class newsletter?

Next Month’s Theme


If your colleagues would like to subscribe to Science Class, please direct them to:

For another dynamic source of classroom science information, subscribe to Science Monthly, an e-mail newsletter produced by the Learning Network, Inc. in partnership with NSTA. To subscribe, visit

If you have a text-only browser or are having any difficulties with our links, please visit\member.htm

This E-Newsletter is brought to you by the National Science Teachers Association
1840 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201-3000
Phone: (703) 243-7100
If you do not want to receive NSTA information by e-mail, please follow this link:<#EMAIL#>