2.3 A Climate Change Learning Module for High School Educators Examining the Misconception of Weather versus Climate using the example of Great Lakes Water Levels

Monday, 7 January 2013: 2:00 PM
Room 13AB (Austin Convention Center)
Patrick L. Lawrence, Univ. of Toledo, Toledo, OH; and S. Mierzwiak, K. Czajkowski, and D. J. Nemeth

With funding support from the NASA Global Climate Change Education Program, a group of faculty, educators and web designers at the University of Toledo are working on the creation of five stand-alone, online modules for 7-12 students to improve student (and teacher) learning of climate change topics by addressing common misconceptions. Constructivist theory says that misconceptions are a barrier to student learning and need to be addressed before students can move on. The misconception of weather (short term conditions) versus climate (long term conditions) will be examined with the case study of water resources in the Great Lakes basin and impacted to short and long term water levels. Students will first be presented with a counter factual narrative surrounding the draining of Lake Erie which will lead students to consider that scenario, the conditions that created it, and the implications. The module then examines the key roles of winter snowpack and lake ice on water level dynamics through the use of satellite imagery. The student are next presented with five regional climate conditions reflecting input variables that drive water levels at a range of temporal scales from monthly to decadal. Animation tools will allow the students to manipulate the input variables and consider how short term changes compare to long term changes that can impact the water level of Lake Erie.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner