168 Summer Weather Camps – An Educational Outreach Initiative at the University of Nebraska

Monday, 7 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Kenenth Dewey, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE; and J. P. Robine

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offered its first NOAA CAREERS (Channeling Atmospheric Research into Educational Experiences Reaching Students) Summer Weather Camp in June 2012 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) provide the students with an opportunity to learn how to do research through individual and group projects.

Among the long list of accomplishments, the weather campers learned leadership skills; worked in groups to solve problems; took daily weather observations with instruments; produced daily weather maps; made daily weather forecasts; learned how to make emergency management decisions; and they learned how to manage water resources with several interactive exercises. The weather campers had several field trips, including a visit to the local National Weather Service Office; the state museum's exhibit “Climate Through the Ages”; the UNL Polar Ice Core Office to learn about climate change research; the county office of emergency management where they toured the facility and also met the coordinator of the storm spotter network; and, they watched the noon news and weather live on the set of our local CBS TV station and then had fun practicing their weathercaster skills in front of the green screen. Several guest speakers spoke to the campers about careers in meteorology as well as science in general. Each weather camper chose a weather research topic and they used our computer lab and produced a poster that was on display at our Friday evening family picnic.

The week ended with an awards ceremony and two skits about severe weather safety created by the campers and presented to their families at the picnic. Our weather camp continues to be a huge success, let us show you how you can create a successful weather camp and be a part of our national network of CAREERS weather camps.

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