How fast was the wind speed of Hurricane Harvey?

Grade level:  5th – 6th grades

Skills: Measurement (Speed)

Hurricane Harvey landed in Texas on August 25, 2017. It became one of the most destructive hurricanes that made landfall in the United States. Hurricanes are categorized into one of 5 classification based on a hurricane’s wind speed.  The table below shows the 5 categories and their potential damage caused by winds.

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  1. Maximum wind speed in Harvey’s eyeball was measured 130 mph (miles per hour). Which category does Harvey belong to?
  2. How fast did winds in Harvey’s eyeball move per minute? Round the number to the nearest whole number.
  3. Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. Maria made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. What kind of potential damage did Maria give to the houses and trees in Puerto Rico?

Sources: National Hurricane Center


Answer keys

  1. Category 4
  2. 130 ÷ 60 ≈ 2
  3. Potential damage to houses: Loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls                   Potential damage to most trees:  snapped or uprooted


What will be the main energy source in 2050?

Grade level:  5th – 6th grades

Skills: Circle graph

Related environmental issues: Energy

Currently, fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) are dominant energy sources for  electricity generation in the world.  However, many claim that renewable energy will be the main form of energy in the future.  The circle graph below shows one prediction of shares of energy sources used for electricity generation in the world in 2050.

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  1. According to the prediction, what two sources will be the dominant energy sources in the world in 2050?
  2. According to the prediction, what percentages of the world’s energy will be generated from fossil fuels in 2050?  Fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas.
  3. According to the prediction, what energy source generates one-sixth as much electricity as solar energy in the world in 2050?
  4. According to the prediction, what energy source generates 4 times as much electricity as coal in the world in 2050?

Sources: DNV-GL, 2017, Energy Transition Outlook 2017


Answer keys

  1. wind and solar energy
  2. 3+2+6=11(%)
  3. Natural gas: 36÷6 =6 (%)
  4. Hydropower: 3 X 4 =12 (%)



 This is just the start of the solar age-seven graphs show why