92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012: 4:15 PM
Making the Community Weatherwise Through Informal Science Education At the Nation's First Weather Museum
Room 348/349 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Maureen T. Maiuri, The John C. Freeman Weather Museum at Weather Research Center, Houston, TX; and J. F. Hasling, CCM

The John C. Freeman Weather Museum, the first museum of its kind in the nation, opened its doors in April of 2006 in Houston, Texas to inspire America's next generation of scientists and engineers. Founded and operated by meteorologists, The Weather Museum is a project of Weather Research Center, a non-profit educational and research organization, whose goal is to reach as many people as possible and educate them about weather and weather safety as well as make them weatherwise. The Museum provides hands-on meteorological science education to the Houston community as well as many out-of-town visitors through a number of rich programs which include Guided Tours, seasonal Weather Camps, Weather Labs, Teacher Workshops, Weather Talks, Weather Safety Classes, Boy Scout and Girl Scout Weather Merit Badge Classes and numerous Community Events. The value behind each of these programs is that they are presented to the individual, which could be anyone from a child to an adult, in a way that is easy to understand while still incorporating the latest meteorological advances and findings.

Museum exhibits include a simulated weather broadcasting “studio”, a climate room featuring rain forest and desert terrariums with a collection of frogs and lizards, an area devoted to meteorological history with items that date back to the 1950's, a tremendous educational tool can be found with our 3-D digital weather sphere from magic planet, a water vapor simulated tornado vortex and in-depth exhibits on hurricanes and severe weather. The Museum also maintains virtual exhibits on its Website as well as a page where science teachers can find interesting weather activities and weather links to incorporate into their lesson plans. Short weather videos that delve into museum exhibits and weather education are also posted on The Weather Museum Website, allowing museum meteorologists to connect with not only the local area but also the global community.

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