NWS El Paso meteorologists begin the process by having small groups of teachers participate in a short training session. The teachers are then given access to a suite of videos that reinforce the training they just received. A separate presentation is given to students in a classroom setting using Google Hangouts, a freely available video conferencing tool that is accessed with a Google ID. This allows the NWS meteorologist to visit directly with students and not only introduce them to the material, but hopefully generate a higher level of excitement for the subject matter. Due to the interactive nature of Hangouts, the students can ask questions directly to the meteorologist. In its inaugural season, NWS El Paso successfully participated in a total of 24 Hangouts with over 3000 students and teachers from 67 schools in 8 different states.
This presentation will discuss the technology behind the one-on-one video chat and how the NWS has taken this a step further with its larger scale “Ask-a-Meteorologist” option in an effort to enhance the National Weather Service's commitment to weather education. In addition, we will discuss feedback received for teachers, along with the advantages and limitations to presenting weather information using this delivery format.