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Riverside Scientific, Inc. -- Interactive Software for Science Exploration

RSI Clouds gives your students the ability to explore the factors that cause and control the growth of cumulus clouds.

With this program, your students can:

A BIG cloudDesign cumulus clouds -- that is, create clouds of different heights and distances from the ground -- by changing the temperature and relative humidity of the air near the Earth's surface.  They can also modify the temperature of the air at higher levels in the atmosphere to see how warm layers aloft can limit cloud growth.

Water phase, one of the things to see inside the cloudWatch the cloud they've designed grow as a numerical model "creates" the cloud.  Students can select between a variety of ways of observing the cloud and its properties; they can look at the cloud's inside temperature, where in the cloud water is liquid or ice, what winds are present in the cloud, and other factors.

Explanation screen iconExplore the concepts underlying what they see happening on the map through a series of interactive explanation screens.

Logbook for remembering what's been doneSave the settings they used to create the cloud and comments about it in a private, password-protected logbook.  The logbook allows students to reuse saved configurations, eliminating the time and effort required to reconfigure the settings.

System Requirements

Windows-based microcomputers:

  • Clouds requires Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP.  Your processor should be a Pentium 120 or faster.
  • Clouds requires approximately 2 MBytes of hard disk space.  (Approximately 15 Mbytes of memory are required if you are using Windows 95 and have not yet installed Microsoft DirectX). 
  • Your microcomputer must be able to provide a screen resolution of at least 800 by 600 pixels with 256 colors (SVGA mode).
  • Printer capability is required if you wish to print out logbook entries. 
  • A CD-ROM drive (used only during installation).

Apple microcomputers:

  • We have discontinued support of this program for Mac OS 8-9.  We are planning to create an OS X version of this program, but have no expected release date at this time.

Teacher's Guide

The Teacher's Guide for Clouds is a PDF file than can be read with Adobe Acrobat.  The version available here omits the answers to the questions posed within it; the Teacher's Guide you receive with the software will contain the answers.

Clicking on the link below will open the Teacher's Guide for viewing (if your browser is so configured).  To save the file, right click on the link and choose the Save Target As... option.

Clouds Teacher's Guide

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Copyright Riverside Scientific, Inc. info@riversci.com  Updated 20 January 2006