89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009: 2:00 PM
Science education and the future shortage of scientific thinkers: Local solutions to a problem that affects us al
Room 125B (Phoenix Convention Center)
E. Ashley Steel, NOAA, Seattle, WA
Science is not a series of facts but an exciting process. It is essential that we teach students this process of generating and evaluating new information; however, the proportion of the U.S. population with adequate training in these math and science skills is dangerously low. Sound natural resource management depends on the abilities of all people to evaluate information and to make good decisions based on that information. While there is a national crisis, there are also promising local solutions. We have developed and published “The Truth About Science”, a curriculum that teaches students to ask testable hypotheses, design unbiased methods, conduct statistics, and communicate their results. I will present an overview of the curriculum and of a recent NOAA-funded professional development course for local teachers. We taught a one semester, 3-credit course collaboratively through the University of Washington; it has already impacted over 1000 students. We describe our evaluation of this professional development program and detail the aspects of the program that made it particularly successful.

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