87th AMS Annual Meeting

Monday, 15 January 2007: 11:45 AM
The history and sustainability of the CIMSS student workshop on atmospheric, earth, and space science at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
206B (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Margaret Mooney, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and G. S. Wade, W. L. Smith, T. H. Achtor, S. Ackerman, L. Avila, J. Brunner, and R. Pertzborn
In 1991, the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison launched the first summer workshop in the Atmospheric, Earth, and Space Sciences. Hosted by CIMSS, the workshop was sponsored by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The workshop curriculum was created through a desire by scientists at CIMSS and other UW-Madison academic departments to share the exciting nature of scientific research and technology with the pre-college education community through a “hands-on” experience with science tools and data. To attract the best and brightest students into the field of science, the workshop sought to stimulate young people's interest by showing them that science is interesting, exciting, and fun!

The resident workshop was originally offered to State of Wisconsin K-12 teachers and high school students. Due to the accessibility of information on the Internet, the 21st century saw the workshop roster expand to include national and international attendees.

In 2003, CIMSS decided to develop a separate workshop solely for educators focused on satellite meteorology while continuing to offer the atmospheric, earth, and space sciences workshop for students. WSGC provided grants to support both workshops for two years before deciding that it was time to for the student workshop to be more self-sustaining; in 2005 CIMSS learned that the student workshop would not be funded. Thus, it was time for a significant increase in tuition for students to attend this time honored educational tradition. In 2006, 14 students enrolled for the workshop, six from Wisconsin, seven from states ranging from Colorado to Connecticut and one from as far away as Iceland.

The CIMSS summer workshop for high school students has become a legacy in the educational community. The majority of program graduates have gone on to pursue science majors in college and several graduates have since helped with the workshop while attending the UW-Madison. With continued support from NOAA and collaborations between University departments, the workshop will continue to attract students to science careers for years to come.

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