PD1.2 Demonstrating Atmospheric Phenomena through Active Learning

Monday, 13 January 2020: 8:30 AM
258C (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Celia M. Payne, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC; and E. Baugher, A. E. Stimach, W. Abshire, and C. M. Kauffman

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) Education Program mission is to increase Earth science literacy. One way in which this mission is addressed it by creating opportunities for teacher professional development opportunities in weather, ocean, and climate science. Dedicated to serving broad populations, AMS provides resources through online graduate courses for educators and using online digital media and hands on activities.

AMS courses have long employed “Active Learning” techniques, a concept that can be interpreted in two ways: (1) the textbook definition of allowing students to take control of their own learning and engage with the learning process, and (2) a literal interpretation where students use physical means to learn a concept as opposed to traditional lecture-style learning. This is evident in AMS’ hand-twist model, the High and Low of It, where students use their hands to predict and visualize the vertical and horizontal air motions associated with high and low pressure systems. Hands-on activities like this not only establish a basis for “3D thinking” (a learning process associated with Next Generation Science Standards [NGSS]), but also gives teachers a tool to engage students in active STEM learning.

The High and Low of It hand-twist model is AMS’ contribution to inventive, easy-to-learn STEM education. Learners use their hands to mimic horizontal and vertical air motion in the atmosphere and the activity guides them to learn through individual investigation. Understanding of other atmospheric phenomena then becomes second nature as course participants begin to think three-dimensionally. Come by our station in this session to give the Hand Twist Model at try, see how it maps to NGSS standards, and learn more about our current professional development opportunities!

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