101 Hands-On Learning about the Atmosphere in the New NGSS-Aligned GLOBE Weather Curriculum

Monday, 7 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Becca Hatheway, UCAR, Boulder, CO; and J. Ristvey Jr., L. Gardiner, R. Minaya, L. Mohan, L. H. Chambers, and T. Murphy

GLOBE Weather is a new instructional unit for middle school students that includes student investigations of weather phenomena through activities, demonstrations, data collection, and data analysis. This five-week curriculum is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards performance expectations (MS-ESS2-5 and MS-ESS2-6) and uses resources from the GLOBE Program (globe.gov), such as weather data and protocols for data collection, to promote student understanding of weather phenomena. Students develop graphic models (illustrations) to document what they’ve learned throughout the GLOBE Weather unit.

During this session we will discuss how AMS members can use the unit as an exemplar for phenomena-based instructional unit as you work with middle school teachers in curriculum planning and professional development or with curriculum supervisors for state or local curriculum adoptions. We will highlight specific science practices such as how students (1) collect data, (2) analyze and interpret data, and (3) construct and revise models as they learn about weather, leading to student investigations.

To observe the dynamic nature of the atmosphere and how weather changes over time, the curriculum includes data collection via GLOBE Protocols (e.g. Surface Temperature, Clouds, Precipitation, and Air Temperature) and data/visualizations from NASA, GLOBE, and other sources. Students also engage with interactive computer simulations that include temperature, humidity, wind direction, and precipitation, and use timelapse videos to make observations of weather and learn about cloud formation, isolated storms, and fronts.

After making observations, students analyze and interpret data. This includes GLOBE data and other weather data. Students use the “Identify and Interpret” (I2) sense-making strategy.

Throughout the curriculum students work on their mental models of systems. These models are developed and revised over time and include evidence from their observations. These models are used to explain and predict, and they are not just descriptive. The curriculum includes graphic models, physical models, and computer models/simulations.

The GLOBE Weather curriculum, developed by the UCAR Center for Science Education and BSCS with funding from NASA and support from GLOBE Implementation Office, is currently being field tested in classrooms and will be finalized, published, and made freely available in 2019.

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