The NOAA- National Weather Service Education Products and Services:

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Monday, 18 January 2010
Ron Gird, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and D. Cain

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service, (NWS) provides severe weather awareness and preparedness material to teachers and students nation wide. Traditionally this information is provided in the form of publications, posters, hand-outs and school visits. These methods can be both costly and ineffective. New information technologies, displaying video material, make the NWS information to teachers and students more relevant and improve the effectiveness of the science and safety messages. The NWS JetStream web site is designed to present the basic concepts of meteorology and climate to a wide variety of audiences. JetStream provides educators, emergency managers, or people interested in learning about weather and climate with comprehensive, well-organized, colorfully illustrated curricula, teaching the wonders and dangers of the Earth's atmosphere. Recently, the NWS created two new products for the education community, the “2009-Year of Science” DVD and the new “Sky Watcher Chart” for all grades, K-12, and the general public. The DVD includes resources about the atmosphere, oceans, coasts and climate. The “Sky Watcher Chart” is a joint project with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) introducing the basic concepts of cloud observations including the hydrologic cycle. The cloud chart is available on the internet for downloading. Copies of these new products will be available at the annual meeting.

The NWS is developing a more balanced, green approach for providing information, using CD/DVD's, the internet and user friendly Kiosks. A Climate Change on-line module for educators and the annual AMS WeatherFest event illustrates the changing approach by the NWS for supporting the education community and the public. The AMS WeatherFest event demonstrates basic atmospheric science concepts using hands-on exhibits and entertaining simulations to promote the science and career opportunities. The use of the internet and distant learning capabilities can greatly expand the presence of NOAA into the education community. The NOAA and other government agencies have joined forces to distribute free NOAA Weather Radios to all public schools nationwide. Partnerships with museums, like Nauticus in Norfolk and the Science Spectrum in Lubbock, and their use of weather and climate exhibits can reach millions of visitors.