Please note the activity for Lesson 1 is currently experiencing some processing delays. The Lesson 1 exploration can be completed using the Create Your Own Heatwave Definition for a Climate Region in the Continental U.S. activity. Change the climate region to explore areas of the continental U.S.

Engineering Medicine Coolers

Heatwave Visualizations computational thinking module

Students visualize heatwave data to identify which regions and people may be most impacted by hot temperatures to help them engineer a medicine cooler. After creating their own data visualization, students consider how personal preferences and experiences may influence the instructions a human gives to a computer.

When students launch each activity, it will open and run in their browser with MATLAB Online.

Heatwave Days in the U.S. in 2021, Version 1

Visualize the frequency and location of heatwaves in the U.S. in 2021.

Heatwave Days in the U.S. in 2021, Version 2

Consider why this visualization is different from Heatwave Days in the U.S. in 2021, Version 1.

Create Your Own Heatwave Definition

Change variables in the algorithm and observe how it impacts the data visualization.

Create Your Own Heatwave Definition for a Climate Region in the Continental U.S.

Zoom in on a region of the country to test and modify your heatwave definition.

Normal Temperature Patterns

View an animation of typical temperature patterns across the U.S. over the course of a year.

Extension Activity (beyond the curriculum): The Logical AND Operator

The Heatwave Days in the U.S. in 2021, Version 2 live script above uses a heatwave definition that includes the AND operator. This live script helps students understand how the use of the AND operator can result in one-day heatwaves even though the individual conditions in the definition must be met for a minimum of two consecutive days.

Youth Engineering Solutions (YES) has created a teacher guide with lessons plans to facilitate the implementation of these live scripts in your classroom. To download free teacher and student materials, visit the YES website.