Sunday, 22 January 2012
Using Technology to Teach Younger America to Be Weather-Wise
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
The study of meteorology is constantly expanding thanks to numerous advancements in technology. If it weren't for our pioneering inventors with the creation of the Universal Automatic Computer (the supercomputer), the delivery of radar after World War II, or a simple weather station to have in an American household, our knowledge of meteorology may not be as intelligent as it stands today. In addition, one of the most powerful instruments in advancing our knowledge and education about weather is word of mouth. Media coverage of weather forecasts and enlightenment has an astounding impact on each American that is able to endive themselves in weather broadcasts. People are so intrigued by the weather and how it works, that they long for more answers. Luckily, scientists are people that like to figure things out and over many years of studying weather, we have come a long way in discovering what our atmosphere is capable of doing and how we can measure or predict weather phenomena. However, in the United States of America, we have unfortunately dismissed the importance of science and mathematics in our schools. Children literally are passed through the school years without learning the importance of such subject matter. At the Weather Research Center, and the nation's first and only Weather Museum, in Houston, Texas, their mission is to reintroduce the importance of mathematics and sciences. They place a strong emphasis on teaching the public and [especially] school aged children about weather and weather safety. In particular, it is a place to invite children that are highly interested in weather. They are able to learn more about it, and be introduced to just how important having a strong background in mathematics and sciences to pursue a career in the field. The ever expanding technology in the field of meteorology is an extremely useful tool for educators. As the Weather Camp Director at the Weather Research Center for the summer of 2011, I helped make the community and school aged students become, “weather-wise”. Without technology, the task to teach these eager-minded students would not have existed. The students were immersed in a plethora of weather related knowledge such as weather basics (wind, pressure, and temperature), fronts, forecasting, Skew-T introduction, and weather preparedness against tornadoes and hurricanes. These students are our nation's next generation and the mission of the Weather Research Center is whole heartedly shaping the foundation for a much more intelligent scientific intellect. The Weather Research Center is a prestigious environment for students to interact and learn about weather. As a nation, we must re-engage the younger generations in sciences and mathematics. The importance of such matter has motivated our weather pioneers to invent the technologies that we have today, so we can currently learn and teach about weather. Thus, it is important to continue teaching students about the vast amount of knowledge that scientists have acquired throughout the years, and make our future generations more mathematically and scientifically skilled.