Storm Event on the Wax Lake Delta

Focus on Inquiry

The student will make observations based on interpretation of data taken as storm events cross the Wax Lake Delta.

Lesson Content Overview

This activity asks students to analyze meteorological and water data presented as graphs as storm events cross the Wax Lake Delta in the Atchafalaya Bay on the coast of Louisiana. 


1-2 classes




Various grouping throughout lesson

Lesson Information

Learning Objectives

  1. The student will individually examine graphs of MIKE3 sensor data (condition) to correctly (standard) interpret information that the graphs show (task).

  2.  The student will work as part of a team of four students (condition) to identify at least one (standard) similar data pattern across/between the graphs of MIKE3 sensor data (task).

  3. Based on the data they have examined (condition), students will correctly (standard) identify the approximate day/time that the storm event affected the Wax Lake Delta and support this conclusion based on at least three lines of evidence (task).

  4.  Students will be able to correctly (standard) state how the MIKE3 Observation Platform uses energy to send information (task) based on the information they learned through this activity (condition).

Louisiana Science Standards – Inquiry

Grade 8, Inquiry GLE#13. Identify patterns in data to explain natural events (SI-M-A4)

Grade 8, Inquiry GLE#16. Use evidence to make inferences and predict trends (SI-M-A5)

Grade 8, Inquiry GLE#21. Distinguish between observations and inferences (SI-M-A7)

Louisiana Science Standards – Earth Science

Grade 8, GLE#19. Determine the results of constructive and destructive forces upon landform development with the aid of geologic maps of Louisiana (ESS-M-A7)

Grade 8, GLE#20. Describe how humans’ actions and natural processes have modified coastal regions in Louisiana and other locations (ESS-M-A8)

Grade 8, GLE#49. Identify practical applications of technological advances resulting from space exploration and scientific and technological research (ESS-M-C8)

Next Generation Science Standards – Practices of Science & Engineering

The eight practices of science and engineering that the Framework identifies as essential for all students below. The practice(s) used in this lesson are in bold:

NGSS Practice 1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)

NGSS Practice 2. Developing and using models

NGSS Practice 3. Planning and carrying out investigations

NGSS Practice 4. Analyzing and interpreting data

NGSS Practice 5. Using mathematics and computational thinking

NGSS Practice 6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)

NGSS Practice 7. Engaging in argument from evidence

NGSS Practice 8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Next Generation Science Standards – Content Standards, Crosscutting Concepts

PS4.A    Wave Properties

A simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. (MS-PS4-1)

Patterns (Crosscutting Concept)

Graphs and charts can be used to identify patterns in data. (MS-PS4-1)

PS4.C    Information Technologies and Instrumentation (Physical Science)

Digitized signals (sent as wave pulses) are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information. (MS-PS4-3)

Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World (Crosscutting Concept)

Technologies extend the measurement, exploration, modeling, and computational capacity of scientific investigations (MS-PS4-3)
ESS2.A    Earth’s Materials and Systems (Earth Science)

The planet’s systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth’s history and will determine its future. (MS-ESS2-2)