Monday, 23 January 2012
Summer Weather Camps – A New Educational Outreach Initiative At the University of Nebraska
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Summer Weather Camps – A New Educational Outreach Initiative at the University of Nebraska The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) offered it's first summer weather camp in June 2011 as an educational outreach activity to (1) increase weather, climate and science literacy of Middle School and High School students; (2) to encourage bright, underrepresented students to consider science as well as meteorology and climatology careers through first-hand exposure to educational and career opportunities as observed through various professional presentations in the class room as well as field trip visits; (3) to increase the overall talent pipeline of students pursuing studies in science in general and within the files of meteorology and climatology, and, (4); to provide the students with an opportunity to learn how to conduct research through individual and group projects with access to our campus computational and academic facilities. The UNL weather camp is part of the larger national weather camp program being developed across the U.S. The national weather camps are part of the NOAA "CAREERS" camp program which is charged with "Channeling Atmospheric Research into Educational Experiences Reaching Students." Our summer 2011weather camp was a huge success and exceeded all of our expectations. This presentation will outline, based upon our experience, how to create a successful weather camp using local resources; how to create a challenging, yet fun, curriculum; what field trips and activities outside the classroom were the most engaging for the students; and, how to create partnership volunteers to assist with the curriculum both inside and outside the classroom. Our connection to the national weather camp program will be outlined and information on how other universities can join this growing program of national weather camps will also be presented.