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Activities

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Cloud Clues (Cloud Opacity)

Categorize various materials by opacity and understand why cloud opacity matters. Add a light sensor to measure how much light passes through the materials.

Versión en español, "Pistas en las Nubes"

Cloud Cover Estimation

Create a cloud collage and ask your friends to guess the percentage of cloud cover. Expand or adapt this activity by printing photos of the sky and asking participants to identify the cloud coverage.

Versión en español, Estimación de la Cobertura de Nubes

See a video demonstration of Cloud Cover Estimation as a family activity.

Cloud in a Bottle

Create a cloud using rubbing alcohol and an air pump and investigate it using a laser.

You can also do this demonstration using water, ice and a match.

Cloud in a Jar

Bring the clouds down to Earth! Simple directions to create a cloud in a jar.

Versión en español, La Nube en un Frasco

Cloud Teller

Learn about the different types of clouds with this paper fortune teller.

Cloudscape

Create a sky scene using materials like wax paper, fabric and paper, and learn about the different characteristics of clouds.

Sky Conditions

Demonstrate how aerosols affect visibility using water and milk.

Touching the Clouds

Create a tactile model of common types of clouds to learn to describe the clouds based on their shape and texture.

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About Clouds

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Clouds or Snow: A Satellite Mystery

This issue of Earth Observatory for Kids explains how clouds and snow can look the same from a distance, and how satellites can tell the difference by measuring light that humans cannot see. The accompanying activity is "Make Your Own Cloud (In a Bottle)"

Watch a video demonstration of the cloud in a bottle activity.

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Videos

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Build a Dust Storm in a Tray Activity Demo

[8:03] Dust storms take place in many locations around the world and can be quite dangerous. In this video you will learn more about dust storms with atmospheric scientist Marilé Colón Robles, and you also will learn how you can safely observe them as a citizen scientist.

How to take dust observations with GLOBE Observer

Cloud Cover Estimation Activity Demo

[7:29] Jessica Taylor of NASA Langley Research Center and her two daughters show you how to do a Cloud Cover Estimation activity using simple materials. Supplies you need are paper (white and blue), scissors, glue or tape, and a marker or pencil.

Activity Guide (PDF)

Cloud Types Activities Demo

[6:50] Marilé Colón Robles, the project scientist for GLOBE Clouds at NASA's Langley Research Center, and her daughters demonstrate some of their favorite activities related to cloud types: the cloud dance, cloud triangle, and cloud journal.

GLOBE Clouds Family Guide (website)

Clouds Science Playlist

A playlist of five videos with experts explaining the science of clouds and the connections to citizen science, including Jessica Taylor, principal investigator for GLOBE Clouds, on "What is Citizen Science?" [4:08], Dr. Kristopher Bedka on "Clouds and Weather" [9:48], Dr. Patrick Taylor on "Clouds and Earth's Climate" [7:44], Dr. Kristina Pistone on "Clouds and Aerosols [5:24], and Dr. J. Brant Dodson on "Clouds Research and Citizen Science" [7:40].

Correlation Between GLOBE Citizen Science and NASA Satellite Observations

[1:49] In this animation, data from Aqua, CALIPSO, CloudSat and GLOBE Observer are combined to show how multiple observations reveal the structure of clouds.

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GLOBE Clouds: Getting Started

[2:35] This short video describes how to use the GLOBE Observer app to observe clouds and includes helpful tips.

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GLOBE Observer Cloud Science

[2:45] Atmospheric scientist, Jessica Taylor, describes how clouds affect our weather and climate and explains how your cloud observations help scientists study clouds.

NASA Behind the Science: Dr. Yolanda Shea

[9:59] Dr. Yolanda Shea shares how watching the weather forecast led her to a career as a NASA scientist. Dr. Shea uses remote sensing to study the role of clouds in Earth's climate.

Precipitation Connections

Use these videos from the Global Precipitation Measurement mission to make connections between clouds and precipitation. "Anatomy of a Raindrop" talks about the shape of a raindrop and why it is important for satellites like GPM to be able to measure the size of a raindrop, "For Good Measure" provides examples of how rain affects our lives and explains how NASA uses satellites to study precipitation, and "Show Me the Water" breaks down how much of Earth's water is usable and why studying precipitation is important for preparing for extreme weather, like flooding or drought.

Anatomy of a Raindrop [2:50]

For Good Measure [2:01]

Show Me the Water [2:49]

Download these videos (and other GPM video features)

Satellite Matching

[12:13] Marilé Colón Robles (GLOBE Clouds project scientist, NASA Langley Research Center) and Tina Rogerson (scientific programmer and GLOBE Clouds data manager, NASA Langley Research Center) share why satellite matches to GLOBE cloud observations are important and how they are done. Then, Heather Mortimer (GLOBE Observer graphic designer and science writer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) walks us through her own cloud observations and satellite matches.

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Books

 

Use WorldCat to search libraries near you, read reviews, and find editions in different languages.

Books for Kids

Books for Teens and Adults

 

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Tutorials

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Cloud Cover Estimation - Interactive

This interactive web-based tool allows you to calibrate your eye by practicing cloud cover estimation using images on the computer.

Cloud Identification Key

Use this step-by-step key to identify each type of cloud you see.

Cloud Type Practice - Interactive

This interactive web-based tool asks a series of questions to help you narrow down the type of cloud you are observing. It can be used both for practice and in the field to identify clouds. Based on the original Cloud Identification Key developed by Dr. Tina Cartwright, Marshall University, West Virginia

Cloud Identification Key (PDF version)

Contrail Formation Tutorial - Interactive

In this tutorial, you can explore the physics of contrail formation in the atmosphere and develop the ability to recognize the several types of contrails that form under varying atmospheric conditions. Practice classifying the type and abundance of contrails. (Requires Flash)

GLOBE Clouds: Getting Started

[2:35] This short video describes how to use the GLOBE Observer app to observe clouds and includes helpful tips.

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Observing Cloud Type

Document describing the appearance and key characteristics of the ten main types of clouds.

Simple Cloud Tutorial

PDF version of the in-app tutorial, providing information to make an observation.

Sky Window

Cut out the rectangle in the middle of the Sky Window and use the information on the frame to help describe sky conditions and identify clouds.