5D.2 The AMS Education Program: Working to Promote Scientific Literacy in the Public

Friday, 13 November 2009: 2:10 PM
James A. Brey, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC; and I. W. Geer, J. M. Moran, R. S. Weinbeck, E. W. Mills, B. A. Blair, E. J. Hopkins, T. P. Kiley Jr., E. E. Ruwe, and E. Gracey-Miller

The American Meteorological Society (AMS), representing the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences, has a long history of conducting and facilitating educational programs geared toward increasing scientific literacy in the public. This is accomplished through a number of programs and partnerships with organizations like NSF, NOAA, and NASA. At the K-12 level, Project ATMOSPHERE and The Maury Project provide teacher enhancement training and leadership opportunities in the atmospheric and oceanographic sciences, respectively. Both of these programs contribute to a national network of AMS Education Resource Associates (AERAs), producing high-quality instructional materials aimed directly at increasing the Earth-science proficiency of other K-12 educators. The AMS has found this trickle-down method of “educating the educators” to be very effective. To date, almost 15,000 K-12 educators have been trained through these programs and share that knowledge with millions of students across the country. At the college level, the AMS has taken the approach of placing high-caliber, scientifically-authentic learning materials directly in the hands of undergraduate students. It is from these courses that many future teachers receive their only college-level training in the sciences. As such, the AMS has developed a suite of three geoscience courses covering its major disciplines. AMS Weather Studies, AMS Ocean Studies, and coming soon, AMS Climate Studies, are available for implementation at undergraduate institutions nationwide. These highly-motivational courses place students in learning environments where they investigate the atmosphere and world ocean using real-world data. The course materials are already in use at more than 500 colleges and universities across the nation. The programs described above represent just a few of the projects allowing the AMS Education Program to pursue a multi-pronged approach in promoting increased scientific literacy among the public. For a complete list of projects organized through the AMS Education Program, please see http://www.ametsoc.org/amsedu.
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