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Temperature and Altitude

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Subject Area: Mathematics and Science

Grade Level: 6th & 7th grades

National Math Standards:

  • Mathematics as Problem Solving: Investigate and understand mathematical content. Verify and interpret results with respect to the original problem.
  • Patterns and Functions: Describe and represent relationships with tables, graphs, and rules.
  • Statistics: Systematically collect, organize, and describe data.

National Science Standards:

  • Unifying Concepts and Processes: Understanding change, constancy, and measurement.
  • Science as Inquiry: Demonstrating abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry.
  • Physical Science: Understanding changes in properties in matter.

National Technology Standards:

  • Technology productivity tools: Use content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g.,environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research.
  • Technology research tools: Use content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research; select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems.


After reading the explanation given below, use AtmosModeler to gather and record data on temperature and altitude generated by the AtmosModeler control panel.

AtmosModeler is an interactive simulation software package that describes how physical quantities such as pressure, temperature, speed of sound, and Mach number change with altitude. The package was created at the NASA Glenn Research Center.

AtmosModeler is a Java applet program that executes inside the browser of your computer. It is available on the World Wide Web at You can also download the program to run off-line.

You may change the value of the altitude or aircraft speed by using the sliders on the left of the program.

To use the slider:

  1. Click the mouse pointer on the arrows at the ends of the slider.
  2. Click the mouse pointer anywhere between the slider and the arrow.
  3. Drag the slider with the mouse.

To use the input boxes provided on the right side:

Simply select the value in the input box, key in the new value, and press Enter or Tab when finished. The button on the slider will move corresponding to the value typed in the box.

To begin problem, click on the Activity icon below.


You, or you and your partner(s), will be evaluated on the accuracy of the data recorded and the feasibility of your answers to the activity questions.


You will be able to use AtmosModeler to gather and record data. You will use data to make calculations regarding altitude and temperature.

Submitted by: James Naus, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio

Related Pages:
Lesson Index
Aerodynamics Index


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, May 13 02:38:38 PM EDT 2021

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