Clouds were observed for a period of one month from October 2015 to November 2015 using time-lapse photography in Kashiwara, Osaka Prefecture, Japan, to create basic guides to support elementary school teachers on cloud observations. The present study clarifies the occurrence characteristics of different types of clouds and their movements in different weather conditions. In partly cloudy conditions, cumulus, cirrus and altocumulus clouds were observed with an occurrence rate of more than 30%, and one or two types of clouds were generally observed at the same time. In cloudy conditions, altocumulus, cumulus, stratocumulus and cirrus clouds were observed with an occurrence rate of more than 30%, and two or three types of clouds were generally observed at the same time. Cirrus clouds were approaching from the west, and altocumulus clouds were also mostly approaching from the west. In partly cloudy conditions, cumulus clouds were largely approaching from the north. Based on these statistical data of the types and movements of clouds, the main points of cloud observations in autumn were summarized in association with the “changes in weather” in fifth grade science.
Hyogo Prefectural Amagasaki Oda High School is located in the southeast of Hyogo Prefecture, with Osaka Bay about 5 km away in the southwest direction. Prior to the construction of the school, a ground survey was carried out and several samples of geological specimens were stored in sample tubes. In order to examine the sedimentary environment, the amount of sulfur contained in each sample was measured quantitatively. For sulfur analysis, the turbidimetric method was used. Marine mud sediments generally contain 3 mg/g or more of sulfur. During the analysis it became clear that the usefulness of an index value on sulfur content is very high. By comparing the results of the sulfur analysis with the characteristics of the geological columnar section, the changes in the sedimentary environment were clarified in greater detail. By conducting sulfur analyses, ground survey samples at schools could be effectively utilized as educational materials.
We developed a teaching material for better understanding the Earth’s layered structure. The teaching material consists of a glass cylinder containing five materials (air, water, quartz, olivine and mercury), which represent each major layer of the Earth (atmosphere, ocean, crust, mantle and core). By flipping the cylinder we can recreate density stratification as many times as needed. In order to comprehend the importance of the newly developed teaching material, we performed a study program to compare the usefulness of various tools. The results of a questionnaire survey show that students’ comprehension of specific gravity is low when experiencing only a hanging-type tool. In contrast, when experiencing a cylinder-type tool, comprehension is improved. This is because the prior use of a cylinder-type tool imparts a clear feeling of specific gravity through the visual sense, leading to preparation for experiencing a hanging-type tool.