Advanced Environmental and Earth Sciences Teacher Guide


Teacher manual for Advanced Environmental and Earth Sciences labs. Has both the printed version and a flash drive with teacher tips, a PDF of teacher version and editable Word student version.

Weather in a Terrarium

Lab Summary

Use a weather sensor and light sensor in a terrarium to conduct and design an investigation of weather, using this closed system to help identify independent variables, dependent variables, and controlled variables.


Students demonstrate that a terrarium, a closed system, is an excellent tool for conducting environmental studies such as weather investigations. As part of this process, students:

  • Learn to use this closed system to change one variable at a time, control other variables, and monitor multiple variables.
  • Design additional investigations of weather using the terrarium.


Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Designing controlled investigations.
  • Determining the effect of a plant on the weather inside a terrarium.
  • Using sensor technology to monitor independent and dependent experimental variables.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Light Sensor


Features a wide measurable range by offering three light ranges accommodating various different measurement situations. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

PASPORT 6-in-1 Weather Sensor


Measures barometric pressure, relative altitude, absolute and relative humidity, dew point, and temperature. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

PASPORT Sensor Extension Cable


Allows an additional two meter length extension on all PASPORT sensors.



A single polycarbonate chamber designed to integrate sensors for controlled-environment experiments such as fermentation and plant or cricket respiration.

Materials Used:

Fast-growing, small, potted plant 
Strong incandescent or full spectrum fluorescent light source

The Associated Bundle:

Advanced Environmental and Earth Science Standard Sensor Bundle


Standard bundle for Advanced Environmental and Earth Sciences Teacher Guide,

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.