12.2 Experiential learning on Whiteface Mountain as a cornerstone of the University at Albany Weather and Climate Camp summer experience for high school students

Friday, 17 July 2020: 11:40 AM
Virtual Meeting Room
Justin R. Minder, Univ. at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY

The University at Albany (UAlbany) Weather & Climate Camp (UAWCcamp) is a free one-week summer day camp for high school students. Its goal is to engage and inspire students to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The camp serves students from New York’s Capital District, specifically targeting students that are: from low-income backgrounds, potential first generation college students, or from under-represented minority (URM) groups. The UAWCcamp works to show campers that education and careers in science are options for each of them that are exciting, attainable, and rewarding. The UAWCcamp ran successfully each August from 2015-2018, serving about twelve students each year and is scheduled to run again during August 2020.

A highlight of the camp is a daylong field trip into the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, where students ascend Whiteface Mountain (1483 m). During this trip they collect weather measurements (temperature, pressure, wind, radiation) at different elevations on the mountain, tour the UAlbany Atmospheric Science Research Center’s Whiteface Mountain Observatory and a New York State Mesonet station, and launch a weather balloon. On the day after the field trip, campers get a taste of real scientific research by designing and conducting their own research projects, using data from Whiteface Mountain, under the mentorship of UAlbany graduate students. The UAWCcamp culminates with campers presenting their research results. This presentation will summarize the strategies, successes, and challenges associated with this experiential learning activity.

Supplementary URL: http://www.atmos.albany.edu/facstaff/jminder/UAWCcamp/

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