Using the issue of Great Lakes Water Levels in an Online Line Learning Module on Climate Change for High School Science

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Patrick L. Lawrence, Univ. of Toledo, Toledo, OH

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 K7-12 students to improve student learning of climate change topics. This presentation examines the development of an online online learning module on the topic of short and long term Great Lakes water levels by the use of a story narrative approach. The common misconceptions of weather versus climate conditions and their impact on above and below average short and long term Great Lakes water level are presented to the students via a series of videos, activities, and assignments). The module discusses the important roles of winter snowpack and lake ice on water level dynamics through the use of satellite imagery. The students are shown five regional climate scenarios that are the result of variations in participation, evaporation and runoff that are the key factors that drive Lake Erie 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.