The Role of Weather Museums in Early Science Education

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 2:30 PM
125AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Jill F. Hasling, John C. Freeman Weather Museum at Weather Research Center, Houston, TX; and G. J. Mulvey

Meteorology is both an intuitive, entertaining and complex science. Early development concepts in the United States of who is a meteorologist and what functions they perform, are influenced by television weathercasters and by television weather segments. Meteorologists obtain an aura of Hollywood stars and dare devils outsmarting Mother Nature. It is important to balance this impression with the nuts and bolts of meteorology in a manner that is both educational and entertaining. This is the role of the weather museum explore in this paper. Information from the John C. Freeman Weather Museum in Houston Texas will be used as an example of a museum provided educational experience.

This paper will address: i. Overview of weather museums across the U.S. ii. Summary of visitors to a typical weather museum iii. Summary of in museum and outreach programs iv. Importance of a hands-on science contact in learning v. Road map forward for weather museums in the United States.