Common Cloud Conundrum
Many people think that clouds form due to the process of the water cycle phase, evaporation. It is true that without evaporation, clouds would not exist. Evaporation is the process of liquid water turning into gaseous water, or water vapor. Without evaporation as a part of the water cycle, water would only cycle from liquid to solid, and would never make it off the ground.
Liquid water is relatively “sticky”, the molecules when water is in a liquid state are attracted to each other creating a lattice of water molecules. Think about how water can “stick” to the sides of a glass, your mirror during a shower, or itself when you’ve poured a glass of it too high, and it domes up above the edge of the glass (try it!).
When liquid water molecules have enough energy, some of them break away from the liquid water lattice. A single water molecule is less dense than our typical air molecules (nitrogen and oxygen) so it rises up through the air. That’s usually where water vapor hangs out, amid our air molecules. But we don’t see it.
Water molecules floating around alone are far too small to see. Even so, a common misconception exists that evaporation, liquid water becoming water vapor, creates clouds. But we can see clouds! And we can see liquid water. So at some point, the water vapor must turn back to liquid water, otherwise known as the process of condensation.
Remember that it takes water molecules with energy to break away to form water vapor, so the opposite needs to happen to water vapor molecules to slow down enough to allow their natural attraction to take hold. The temperatures further from the surface of Earth are colder due to less pressure (“thinner” air), so as water vapor rises in the air, it cools, or the molecules lose energy and slow down. In addition to sticking to each other, water molecules tend to need a surface to form onto. Our atmosphere is full of microscopic dust which provides a perfect surface for microscopic water molecules to cling to as they lose energy. The lattice formed between the clinging water and dust is our cloud!
So in a typical graphic that appears in many student textbooks, we can see the cause and effect that creates this cycle of cloud formation:
In a recent workshop, fifth grade teachers from Franklinville, Randolph Academy, West Valley, and Genesee Valley practiced an activity they do with their students in the Models of the Earth Advancing STEM Kit.
This activity helps students understand the conditions needed for a cloud to form. There are different scenarios represented by four combinations of water and air: (1) cold water/cold air; (2) cold water/warm air; (3) warm water/cold air; and (4) warm water/warm air. You can see in the picture that water droplets have formed on the top of one of the cups enclosing the land. What do you think is the combination that created this “cloud”? This activity goes along great with one of the third grade NYS Required Science Investigations: Cloud in a Bottle.
Another great activity to do with kids or by yourself is Cloud BINGO. This fun activity can help develop keen observation skills and practice prediction. Record the date and time when you see a type of cloud and record the weather going on at the time you see this cloud. You can make this a competition if you set a time frame, say three weeks, and whoever has seen the most clouds, wins!
Follow-up questions to a few weeks of cloud observations might be: What type of weather would you expect with thin, wispy clouds? What type of weather would you expect with thick, fluffy clouds? What type of weather would you expect with dark clouds? What did you find were the most common types of clouds? The least common? Are there any clouds that indicate bad weather or good weather is on the way? Are there any clouds that signify a storm is now over? Did you discover any other types of patterns?
By: Kelli Grabowski, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Did you know that our CABOCES communities of students have hundreds of elective course opportunities?? Electives that provide life skills, career descriptions, solidify interests, and build knowledge in areas of interest. Although there are many courses available, each year the providers that partner through CABOCES continue to build and supply new courses. Keep reading to check out a few of the new courses available through our partnered provider eDynamic.
3D Modeling 1a: Introduction
Heart valves, cars, cartoons, and buildings may not seem to have much in common, but they all share one spectacular attribute: all originated as a 3D model. 3D modeling has changed the way the world makes things, and in this course, you’ll learn the basics to begin creating in 3D! You’ll learn how different 3D models are built and how to practice using a variety of modeling methods. By the end of the course, you’ll walk away with a portfolio of your ingenious modeling ideas. 3D modeling is an essential part of the modern world and soon, you’ll be able to contribute yourself!
3D Modeling 1b: Set the Scene
Many buildings that are rendered in the real world first are constructed in a digital 3D world that depicts the aesthetics, environment, and conditions of what will come to be. In this course, you will be introduced to the tools and techniques needed to create works of 3D art. You will bring your objects to life with color, textures, lighting, and shadow all while simulating the movement of world around. Are you ready to bring beautiful objects to life in a 3D world? Let’s get started today!
Animation 1a: Introduction / Animation 1b: Animating. Your Creativity
Have you ever watched a cartoon or played a video game where the animation of characters captivated you so much you wanted to create your own? If so, it’s time to immerse yourself in the world of animation. Meet the industry players such as directors, animators, and 3D modelers. Develop your story by exploring design, the 12 principles of animation, creating a storyboard, and leveraging the tools of the trade. Let’s bring your story to life with animation!
It’s time to start animating like the pros! In this hands-on course, you’ll immediately start exploring the software Blender, your gateway to 3D modeling, computer animation, and postproduction procedures used in the film industry. Discover 3D modeling and animation of characters. Explore the basics of human anatomy and form to apply rigging, joints, and texture. Examine rendering and lighting effects and how to apply sound. And discover careers so you can start using your new skills right away.
Pathophysiology 1a: Introduction
It takes the mind of a detective to uncover the cause of disease, and this is where your investigative brain and desire to heal people comes in! In this course, you’ll build foundational knowledge needed to understand disease in all forms along with signs, symptoms, and prevention. You’ll learn how medical professionals arrive at the right diagnosis that leads to proper treatment and a successful outcome. You’ll also sharpen your sleuthing skills learning how to collect and work with data, develop, and test hypotheses, and design a study, and you’ll even research potential STEM careers! Grab your detective hat and get ready to explore the tiny world of pathogens.
Part 1b in the works!!
These courses are just a few of the many that are available. The courses available consist of a vast variety of contents and interest areas. Please allow us to provide you with any information, answer any questions or search for a specific type of course. Contact any of us in Distance Learning, we look forward to assisting through the process.
Here are the links to look through some of the available courses:
By: Lisa Scott, CA BOCES Learning Resources
School Libraries: Improving student mental and emotional health one book at a time
School libraries, like public libraries, provide a collection of up-to-date resources that inform and entertain. Many school libraries are benefitting from renewed spaces that welcome students by providing seating that is relaxing and grouped for conversing, while offering individual spaces for pondering and completing homework.
The American Library Association (2022) defines libraries as a “venue for exploring questions that arise out of individual curiosity and personal interest”. Ask any reader why books are engaging and the answer will be related to that individual’s ability to find a connection with the characters or content (Allyn, 2015). I remember when a 10th grader, who didn’t read much, came to the library just to get out of study-hall. After talking about his interests, of which one was fishing, he happily left with a non-fiction book on trout fishing with high-quality photographs of tips and tricks. The library and its collection should be a place where all students, faculty and staff are welcomed and affirmed, thus supporting mental and emotional health.
In studying college students’ psychological distress, Levine et al. (2022) found that “recreational reading was associated with reduced psychological distress” and “seemed to buffer against the frustration of one’s basic psychological needs which led to improved mental health”. Another study found that recreational reading can “support readers to deal with the daily emotional challenges they experience affecting their psychological well-being” (Yulia et al., 2021). And it doesn’t take much time! Taking just 6 minutes a day to read can “reduce stress levels by up to 60% by reducing your heartbeat and muscle tension and changing your state of mind” and can be more effective than listening to music (“Making Reading”, 2022).
School recognizing the relationship between stress and mental health are making efforts to create stress-free and welcoming environments via the school library (“Relationship Between”, 2022). Below are some pictures of several districts who have changed up their libraries with color, comfortable seating, new flooring, and new shelving.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Allyn, P. (2015, March-April). For the love of reading: five methods to instill a lifetime of good habits. Reading Today, 32(5), 26+
American Library Association. (2022, June 27). Definition of a library. Retrieved November 28, 2022, from https://libguides.ala.org/library-definition.
Make reading a habit for better mental & emotional health. (2022, October 6). Business World, NA
Relationship between stress and emotional self-efficacy. (2022, August 10). Business World, NA.
S. L. Levine, S. Cherrier, A. C. Holding & R. Koestner. (2022). For the love of reading: Recreational reading reduces psychological distress in college students and autonomous motivation is the key, Journal of American College Health, 70:1, 158-164.
Yulia, A., Joshi, R. M., & Husin, N. A. (2021). Assessing the effects of books on psychological wellbeing in Malaysia. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 19(1), 87+.
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