The Day After Tomorrow (2004)


Concept featured in clip:
Turbulence/ Air Pressure
Location of clip: DVD: 16:25 - 18:35


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: An airplane flies into a huge storm cloud. Once in the storm cloud, the airplane experiences turbulence. There are three high school students on their way to an academic competition. One student, Sam, is afraid of flying and turbulence. Another student reminds Sam that turbulence is only the cause of plane crashes 1 in every billion crashes. Passengers are instructed to stay in their seats and wear their seatbelts until the plane is out of the turbulence. The turbulence is so bad that luggage falls from the over head compartments. The scene ends with the plane leveling off and the oxygen masks falling from the ceiling after the turbulence is over.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: An airplane flies because of the shape of the wing. When air flows over the top of the wing faster than underneath, it creates low pressure on the top of the wing. This high pressure underneath and low pressure on top of the wing creates lift that allows the airplane to fly. When an airplane runs into clouds, the pressure in the air changes. Turbulence is caused when the airplane goes from one air current to another. The air inside clouds is constantly moving due to convection currents with hot air rising and cool air sinking. This moving air causes the airplane to "jolt" or "sink", which is turbulence.
Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. How are clouds created?

b. What makes an airplane fly?

c. Why does an airplane experience turbulence when flying through?

2. This clip could be used during a physical science unit on air pressure and convection currents. Students could work in groups of 3-5 to create skits to act out what happens when an airplane experiences turbulence. They would include the reasons for the turbulence in their skit.

3. Students could make models of ariplane wings/airfoils to help illustrate how the air flows around them.