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Apologia Physical Science Module 3 Links: The Atmosphere

Updated on April 6, 2018

Module 3: The Atmosphere

Links and cool science experiments about the earth's atmosphere, pressure and temperature, to supplement Module 3 of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Physical Science. It is recommended as an 8th grade middle school course, but may also be used for ninth grade or younger advanced students.This curriculum is popular in Christian schools and homeschools to learn the science necessary for advanced education. I pray that by the end of the course, you will more deeply appreciate the wonder of God's creation!

Supplements has a FREE 3 page PDF of Apologia Physical Science Vocabulary.


The mass of air surrounding a planet.

The Layers of Earth's Atmosphere


Homosphere and Heterosphere:

3 Layers in the Homosphere:

  • 1. Troposphere
  • 2. Stratosphere
  • 3. Mesosphere

2 Layers in the Heterosphere:

  • Thermosphere
  • Exosphere

Temperature Gradient in the Homosphere

Where is the Stratosphere?

Sing along and Learn!


The atmosphere has several layers. Changes in weather occur in the lowest layer, the troposphere. Above that is the stratosphere, which is relatively weather free. Then, the ionosphere, which contains electrifed layers of air that reflect radio waves and make round-the-world communication possible. Beyond that is the mysterious, rarified exosphere now being explore by Earth satellites.

Where is the stratosphere? Just above the troposphere.

Where is the tropopause? It is in between.

Where is the stratosphere? Under the ionosphere.

Where is the exosphere? Highest on the scene.

All together, all together, they make up the atmosphere.
All together, all together, that’s the atmosphere.

Troposphere and stratosphere, ionosphere and exosphere,
All together, all together, that’s the atmosphere.

Where is the weather made? Where is all the weather made?
Where is the weather made? In the troposphere.

Lyrics by Hy Zaret
Music by Lou Singer
Sung by Tom Glazer and The Weathervanes

Atmosphere Song - By Mr. Parr

Atmospheric Pressure

The pressure exerted by the atmosphere on all objects within it.

Atmospheric Pressure

VHSG: The Atmosphere

Virtual Homeschool Group offers at-your-own-pace teaching of the entire Apologia Physical Science course with labs, review quizzes, and exams! Watch the orientation (You must own the textbook).

Geography4Kids: Pushy Pressure Earth's Atmosphere


Modern Aneroid Barometer
Modern Aneroid Barometer | Source

A barometer has two scales:

INS Hg measures inches of mercury. This unit is used by aviators.

Meteorologists measure Mbs or millibars

There are 3 types of barometers:

The mercury barometer was invented in 1643 by Evangelista Toricelli, a student of Galileo.

In 1844 the aneroid barometer was invented. An aneroid cell expands or contracts, which moves a mechanical lever.

Professionals use modern barometers which are electronic. They measure a change in voltage caused by atmospheric pressure.

Sing Along and Learn!


High pressure cells, called “highs,” are areas of heavier air which are cold, or dry, or both. Such air, passing over warmer ground, brings clear weather because water droplets tend to evaporate.

Low pressure cells, called “lows,” are areas of air which are warm, or moist, or both. Such air, passing over cooled ground, condenses from below to form “overcasts” or steady rains.

Unequal heating of the Earth causes winds to circulate.

The direction of the winds changes as the Earth rotates.

Shifting masses of the air, whirling, twirling, swirling by.

Make the pressure cells up there pressure cells, both low and high.

Lyrics by Hy Zaret
Music by Lou Singer
Sung by Tom Glazer and The Weathervanes

Experiment 3.1

You will need:




frying pan

two empty 12-ounce aluminum cans


eye protection such as goggles or safety glasses

What is Temperature?

Temperature is not measure of heat!

Geography4Kids: Temperature 1

Geography4Kids: Temperature 2 Temperature


A measure of the energy of random motion in a substance's molecules.

Experiment 3.2- Seeing the effect of Changing Temperature

You will need:






1 quart or 1-liter plastic bottle

eye protection such as goggles or safety glasses


Energy that is transferred as a consequence of temperature differences.

Jet Streams

Narrow bands of high-speed winds that circle the earth, blowing from west to east.

Sing Along and Learn!


Cold, heavy air at the poles tends to fall and slide along the Earth’s surface to lift up the warm, light air at the equator. Such a motion of air, caused
by heat, is called a “convection current.” But this basic wind pattern is disrupted by the spinning of the Earth, which causes all winds in the northern hemisphere to veer to the right, and all the winds in the southern hemisphere to the left.

Why does the wind blow oo-oo? Why does the wind blow shh?

Why does the wind blow oo-ee. Why does the wind blow pfff?

The sun-heated Earth makes the air get warmer,

Makes air lighter and, as it does,

The cool air pushes the warm air up;

Now the cool air is where the warm air was.

That moving air is called a “wind,”

And everybody knows

What the wind is called depends upon the speed at which it blows.

That's why the wind blow oo-oo. That's why the wind blows shh.

That's why the wind blows oo-ee. That's why the wind blows pfff.


At 8 miles an hour, it’s just a breeze.
Above 25 miles an hour, it’s a gale.
Above 64 miles an hour, it’s “blowing up a storm”.
Above 75 miles an hour, that wind is a hurricane.

Lyrics by Hy Zaret
Music by Lou Singer
Sung by Tom Glazer and The Weathervanes

The "Hole" in the Ozone Layer

Dr. Wile, the author of our book, addresses the issue Did we really save the ozone Layer? A current NASA study investigates First direct proof of ozone hole recovery due to chemicals ban. NASA's Aura satellite measures microwave thermal emissions from the edge (limb) of Earth's atmosphere to approximate atmospheric gases, temperature, pressure, and cloud ice. It appears there has been a 20 percent reduction in ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter, compared to the 2005 study. It is believed that the lowering of chlorine in the Antarctic is due to the international ban on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Greek & Latin Roots:

Sphere= round body

Litho= Land

Atmo= Air

Hydro= Water

Bio= Life

Fun With Vocabulary


Online Flashcards, Games, Tests

Study Stack

Online Flashcards, Games, Tests

Bonus Experiment! Make a Balloon Barometer

Did your experiments go as planned?

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