5.3 Implementation of an Internship and Authentic Research Experience in Conjunction within the Synoptic Classroom

Tuesday, 8 January 2019: 2:00 PM
North 229AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Adam T. Hirsch, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO; and P. S. Market, J. Bongard, N. I. Fox, P. Sumrall, and C. Brown

Real world experience is an invaluable tool to the students as they prepare for either graduate school or for the workforce. However, there are often time barriers for students from the competitiveness to costs. In addition, students having exposure to authentic research experience can help make connections from material learned in class to application in a real world setting. Often times, these two are interconnected. The research presented here combined both of these to allow students experiential learning supplementing classroom material in conjunction with an active research project.

Students enrolled in Synoptic at the University of Missouri were afforded an opportunity to assist with ongoing research. Two students forecasted daily with the assistance of more experienced forecaster to create daily forecast for research related to downdrafts. This structure allowed for an apprenticeship style of internship which has been shown in studies to aid knowledge retention and move students from a novice level to a more advanced level. Daily forecast products were shared on a blog, Facebook, and Twitter that the students were responsible to create, aiding in their understanding of forecasting and communication skills. Students had access to professional products to forecast such as AWIPS, NMAP, and BufKit. This was done to emulate a real forecast situation as much as possible. In addition, students also aided in deployment radiosondes to aid in collecting data associated with the associated downdraft research project. The researchers will present what students learned from this experience, how students forecasting skills developed during the experience, and how establishing a apprenticeship type learning environment can benefit students.

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