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A Study in Latent Heat: How "Hungry" is a Hurricane?
Stephen Jessup
2003-2004 Fellow

In this activity, students compute the amount of latent heat energy produced in a hurricane, and convert the units of this energy to those of a commodity we're all familiar with - the Big Mac sandwich. In addition to the physical concept of latent heat, the activity stresses scientific notation, unit conversion, and the manipulation of mathematical equations.

The activity can be geared toward students ranging from middle school through advanced placement classes by adjusting the amount of structure provided in the worksheet.

The activity is an outgrowth of a "blackboard calculation" presented to students in Pete Saracino's ninth grade Earth Science class at Marcus Whitman High School, Rushville, NY. Tips and potential problems in the Teacher's Guide stem from this piloting session.

Downloadable WORD files:

Teacher's Guide

Student Version



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