Sunshine Report – President’s Day Weekend

Monday of President’s Weekend. There is no school today and it’s a short school week.

Chicagoland had snow on Saturday afternoon and it warmed up enough Sunday to melt most of the snow on driveways and walkways. The forecast for Monday is rain.

Last Wednesday, we collected data for the 11th week – and we had some significant changes in sunshine from the previous week. We took time in class to discuss the highs and lows of our weekly data collection.

  • Warmest temperature recorded: 35°C
  • Coolest temperature recorded: – 22°C
  • Temperature range: 57°C – WOW
  • Greatest amount of sunshine: 14:27
  • Least amount of sunshine: 7:17
  • Greatest amount of change in sunshine: +1:07
  • Least amount of change in sunshine: +0.02

An interesting statistic this week is the sunshine gap – the difference between the most sunshine and the least sunshine changed 8:43 for the week of February 7 to 7:10 for the past week. That is a change of 1:33!The Chicago Tribune’s weather page had an interesting graphic on Sunday, February 18. Wonder what this might mean?

graphic courtesy of the Chicago Tribune 2/18/18

We’ll be collecting sunshine data this Wednesday and many Wednesday’s to come. I wonder what the sunshine gap will be this week? And why is it happening?

It’s always good to be curious and wonder.

Weather Wednesday on Saturday

It’s been three weeks and four days since the last post, but The Sunshine Report is still growing and developing.

Mr. Watkins’s classes have continued to collect and we should have 8 separate days of sunshine and weather data recorded in our ISNs (Interactive Science Notebooks).

Mr. Watkins gave feedback on our data collection on Wednesday. Here are some points he has learned…..

  • We are scientists and the language of the science community is numbers
  • Also, since we are in the science community, we need to collect our data using the International System of Units (SI)
  • Time is measured in hours and minutes  HH:MM
  • 24 hour time is used to denote the difference between PM and AM
    • 6:41 AM is 06:41 and 6:41 PM is 18:41
  • Temperature is measured in Celsius (C)
  • Pressure for weather is measured in millibars (mb)

Here is the high and low, most and least daylight for the week

  • Most sunshine – 15H 42M
  • Least sunshine – 3H 34M
  • Greatest gain of sunshine – 1H 31M
  • Greatest temperature – 31 C
  • Lowest temperature – -26C
  • Temperature range – 57 C

I wonder where these places are…..

Our next Weather Wednesday week is the last day in January and we should see all sorts of changes. Until Wednesday, be curious and wonder.

Weather Wednesday

Another Weather Wednesday on Winter Break and we had several students brave the cold and entered sunshine and weather data for their cities. Thank you.

Last week 18 students took advantage of the extra credit opportunity and this week 15 students earned extra credit. Next week we’ll be back in school for Weather Wednesday.

It’s been cold across the United States – last week’s coldest temperature of -19 C was in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This week the coldest is a bit further north in Canada at bone chilling -31 C. Hopefully, the temperatures will return to normal when we get back to school. Remember, we do not want NO SNOW or BAD WEATHER DAYS – those are just COLD summer vacation days.

  • The warmest temperature this week comes in at 31 C up from last week’s warm temperature of 29 C. Both are nice summer day warmth.

We are measuring the sunrise, sunset, and selected weather data from 37 different locations across the globe – from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Wellington, New Zeeland.

  • The average daily sunshine from these locations increased 1:30 or I minute and 30 seconds.
  • The average temperatures increased 0.53 C.

That’s enough data.

Finally, Mr. Watkins spoke to Ms. Cari Miller, an artist from Akron, Ohio and he asked her for permission to use her artwork on the Sunshine Report. She graciously granted him permission to use the Night and Day (2002) artwork for the website icon that is visible in the browser tab. Mr. Watkins is thankful for her allowing him to use the artwork. As an artist, Ms. Miller earns income from the sale of her artwork. It is important to give credit when using an image in our work. You can click the image to see her other artwork.

That’s the update for the week – two more days of Winter Break and a weekend, then we are back to school. It’s gonna be a great second semester of being curious and full of wonder.


Welcome to the Sunshine Report!

It’s Wednesday December 27, 2017. This is the first post.

Why am I here? Quite simply, because we are curious and full of wonder. Mr. Watkins’s science classes have been collecting sunshine and weather data since Monday, 12/4. The first day was messy, really messy. But learning is messy. We’ve collected sunshine and weather data every Wednesday since and today’s data is being collected while we are on break from school.

I’ve collected the data for all 37 locations ranging from Tromso, Norway to Stanley, Falkland Islands or from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Wellington, New Zealand. It depends on how you look at it.

Today’s trivia:

    • coldest – -19° C
    • hottest – 31° C
    • most sunshine – 16 hours and 38 minutes
    • least sunshine – 0 hours and 0 minutes

Where could these places be?

Stay tuned….. We’ll continue to gather data every Wednesday until the end of the year. We’ll be searching for patterns and trying to discover the how and why of weather.

Be curious and wonder.