Fermilab Education Home sciencelines Fall 2000


Beyond Books is an expanding series of interactive educational programs that parallel established secondary school curriculum. Materials may also be appropriate for middle school grades. Programs feature original content supported by maps, visuals and reviewed, rated, summarized and aggregated Websites contents. Includes science content as well as topics ranging from Prehistoric Times to the New Millennium, from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf. The writing style is deliberately engaging, sometimes slightly irreverent but always informative and on task. "Teasers" on each content page motivate students to explore beyond the basic information and challenges them to think, "What if. . ." Beyond Books provides online discussions with experts to share their expertise and answer student questions. Students will be able to develop PowerPoint-like presentations entirely online in protected areas not open to the general public. Teachers will have tools to create and share Web presentations with students and collaborating students and schools. At $1/program unit/student/year, it's worth investigating.

For more information contact: Faye Sinnott, (847) 304-1793 www.Beyond Books.com

Getting Started with Global Warming Activity

Overview: This lesson provides an introduction to the BeyondBooks.com programs and features. The content focuses on, global warming and introduces aspects of climate, the factors that influence climate, and the implications of climate change.

Objectives (based on the National Science Content Standards):

Objectives (based on the Illinois Science Standards):

Getting Started:
1. Turn on your computer and go to the Internet

2. Go to www.beyondbooks.com

3. Look at the site. In the upper left-hand corner of the homepage, you will see a button labeled "Live Tour." Click on it. That will take you to the Live Tour! area. Click on the Science icon. You are now on the Live Tour! Science page. Click on Earth's Climate under the Earth Science banner and the "Take a Live Tour area." This will take you to Locus 7, Earth's Climate.

Background: Locus/Focus Areas:
4. The Table of Contents includes locus and focus areas of this program.

The Program Content
5. Read the introductory locus area on Earth's Climate, and explore the following questions.

What's the difference between climate and weather?
Ans. Climate refers to the conditions of weather in one place or region over a long period of time. Weather refers to the state of the atmosphere in terms of heat/cold, wetness/dryness at a specific point in time. Climate is described using data and statistics rather than instruments, like thermometers, that are used to describe weather.

Why would the Greek word klima be the root of the word climate?
Ans. Klima refers to the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, which is determined by latitude. Latitude affects local climate, as does the proximity of large water bodies and topography. To learn more about latitude, click on the Global Grid graphic entitled: "The 'Global Grid' combines longitude and latitude."

6. Scroll to the top of the locus page and click on the Focus Topic, d Climatic Change. In the left-hand column, read the Bad Science Teaser which begins, "Bring on the greenhouse effect!" Explore the following question and then close the window to return to focus page, "Climate Change," on the Beyond Books site.

What is the difference between the greenhouse effect and global warming?
Ans. The greenhouse effect is the name given to the process that causes the surface of planet Earth to be warmer than it would have been without an atmosphere. Global warming is the name used to describe the chemical changes that are occurring in the composition of Earth's atmosphere that is increasing the magnitude of the natural greenhouse effect.

7. On the focus page, click on the first graphic, "The use of CFC's and other gases . . ." A window is opened with the heading "Global Warming: Focus on the Future." Click on the "Global Warming Is Happening" button on the right side of the graphic. Explore the section. Explore the following question. Close the window to return to the focus page in Beyond Books.

Has the Earth really been warming up these last few hundred years? What makes scientists think so?

Ans. Answers will vary. Students should cite the records kept in tree rings, fossil records, stalagmites and ice and ocean cores suggesting that the climate is warming. Some will also note that the climate has varied over time, becoming both colder and warmer.

8. Scroll to the top of the Beyond Books page. Underneath the logo, click on the word "Links" between "Back" and "Next." On the Links page, click on "Global Warming: It's Happening" and read.

What happens when scientists disagree on how to interpret data?
Ans. When scientists disagree, they argue generally in public forums and professional magazines. Additional research may be started, and more scientists may join the discussion sharing their studies and data. Professional debate is good for science!

9. Use the "Back" button to return to the Climatic Change Focus Page. Scroll down to the graphic on: The Greenhouse Effect" and click on it. This connects you to an EPA site. Read about global warming.
Why do we hear so much about global warming now?
(There's another great site on the "Links" page: "Global Warming: Early Warning Signs." Going there, you will see a map that shows current environmental impacts of global warming around the world.)
Ans. The concern is that the rate of warming may be accelerating due to human actions. Scientists believe they are identifying early signs of impact on diverse ecosystems now.

Additional Optional Topics and Activities(many more are possible!)

10. Write a short paper or prepare a short presentation for the class addressing one of the following issues: