938 Radiosonde Roadshow: Teaching Meteorology to All Ages

Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Chris Vagasky, Vaisala, Inc., Louisville, CO

Everybody loves balloons. Everybody loves them more when they are bigger, and this is what makes radiosonde demonstrations so compelling.

For several years, Vaisala has participated in several community outreach programs, such as NCAR’s Super Science Saturday, to demonstrate weather sensing technologies and teach about meteorology to interested members of the public. In 2018, we took the show on the road to expand the reach of the program.

Throughout 2018, we visited universities around the country with meteorology programs or meteorologically-related research interests to host interested students for a seminar and radiosonde demonstration. This multifaceted approach gave several learning opportunities:

  1. It gave faculty and students an opportunity to convene outside of normal class hours to interact and learn together about a topic they may not be intimately familiar with
  2. It introduced students to a potential career path they may not have previously considered
  3. It taught students how to collect meteorological measurements

Both the community outreach programs and radiosonde roadshow have been successful at introducing interested learners to surface and upper air meteorological measurements. This presentation examines both the informal (community outreach) and formal (radiosonde roadshow) education programs and potential future programs aimed to continue improving the knowledge of weather sensing in all communities.

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