AMS Research: From Poster to Classroom

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Monday, 5 January 2015: 1:45 PM
125AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Danny E. Mattox, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and M. K. Corbett and A. D. Melvin

Handout (8.8 MB)

Each year in the AMS poster sessions, a wealth of new research is presented to fellow scientists at the annual conference. Unfortunately, there is little exposure of this current, ongoing research outside of the meteorological community. The Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS) educational outreach department realized that there is an abundance of information contained in the AMS posters that can be utilized as the foundation for inquiry-based, STEM focused lessons in the K-12 classroom.

OCS contacted the lead authors of a few selected posters and collaborated with them to create Learning Cycle lessons based on the research presented in the posters. Posters chosen for the lessons came from the past 5 years of annual conferences. The AMS posters provide a rich resource for data interpretation and graphical analysis. We integrated the presented research with hands-on experiments. The students worked with the data to make hypotheses about the experiments based on the research, then they tested those hypotheses in the classroom.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are quickly becoming a vital part of the K-12 science classroom across the country. The NGSS attempt to look at teaching science from a more holistic approach. Science should not be taught in a vacuum. What better way to teach the NGSS than to use current, cutting edge research from scientists at the top of their field? The poster lessons OCS designed that teachers used in Oklahoma classrooms were aligned with the NGSS so the lessons can potentially be used in thousands of school districts nationwide, not just Oklahoma. The lessons touch on many components of the NGSS such as; engineering and design, cross-cutting concepts, science, technology and the environment, connections to math, and many disciplinary core ideas found in the NGSS.

Students relate more to topics they know are relevant. The students responded positively to the lessons and were able to see beyond the classroom and view the field of science as a greater whole because they knew the content from the lessons came from active research in the meteorological community.

To “fulfill the Vision of Weather, Water, and Climate Information for Every Need, Time, and Place” we must start in the classroom where the seeds of knowledge are planted. Our hope is that other scientists and researchers will see our presentation at the AMS 2015 Annual Conference and partner us with in adapting their research to be used in the K-12 science classroom.