Summative Assessment



After completing your Summative Assessment, don't forget to take the Module 4 Quiz. If you didn't answer the Learning Checkpoint questions, take a few minutes to complete them now. They will help your study for the quiz and you may even see a few of those question on the quiz!

Climate Modeling Activity

In this activity, we’ll explore some relatively simple aspects of Earth’s climate system, through the use of several STELLA models — you’ve seen some of these in the Module 3 activity. STELLA models are simple computer models that are ideal for learning about the dynamics of systems — how systems change over time. The question of how Earth’s climate system changes over time is of huge importance to all of us, and we’ll make progress towards understanding the dynamics of this system through experimentation with these models. In a sense you could say that we are playing with these models, and watching how they react to changes; these observations will form the basis of a growing understanding of system dynamics that will then help us understand the dynamics of Earth’s real climate system.

If you pause for just a moment and think about what we are doing in these activities, it is really just an application of the scientific method. We start with a question, develop a hypothesis, devise and carry out an experiment to test the hypothesis or answer the question, and then study the results to see if they provide an answer to our original question. So, we are learning through experimentation. In this Summative Assessment, we will work through a series of four experiments designed to test the influence of various forcings on climate.


This assessment is broken into four experiments with questions related to each one. Separate web pages have been provided for each experiment to reduce scrolling. We have also provided the activity as a worksheet that you can download and even print if you prefer. You may find downloading or printing the complete worksheet easier to work with as you prepare your answers to submit them. As before, there is a practice version, and then a graded version — each version has its own set of model values that are provided in the worksheet.

Files to Download

Download the worksheet. Completing the 'Practice' and 'Graded' versions of the exercise, in the following pages or on the attached worksheet, is required before submitting your assignment.

Submitting Your Assessment

Work through the practice version first, then write down your answers for the graded version on the worksheet. Once you have answered all of the questions on the worksheet, go to Module 4 Summative Assessment: Graded. The questions listed in the worksheet will be repeated as an Canvas Assessment. So all you will have to do is read the question and select the answer that you have on your worksheet. You should not need much time to submit your answers since all of the work should be done prior to launching the assessment quiz.

Grading and Rubric

This assignment is worth a total of 17 points. The grading of the questions and problems is below:

Scoring Information
Item Possible Points
Questions 1-14 1 point each
Question 15 3 points