203 Teaching Teachers to Teach the Weather

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Tim Brice, NOAA/NWS/Weather Forecast Office in El Paso, TX, Santa Teresa, NM; and J. Laney and M. Pazos

Handout (1.6 MB)

Each year thousands of Texas teachers are asked to prepare their students for end of the year assessment testing.  This involves teachers instructing their students on such diverse topics as biology, geology, and meteorology.  Most teachers are generalist, they know a little information about a lot of subjects.  After talking with various teachers and administrators we found that meteorology, in particular, is a difficult subject for teachers. We found that teachers have trouble understanding basic weather concepts like low pressure and high pressure and warm and cold fronts. If teachers don’t feel confident in their knowledge on a subject it comes across in their teaching.  To help teachers feel more comfortable teaching weather concepts, forecasters at the NWS - El Paso area office have developed training specifically targeted at teachers.

This presentation will discuss the research and preparation that the forecasters went through to get the “Teaching Teachers how to Teach the Weather” presentation ready.  The presentation will also discuss the different formats the forecasters used to help teach the teachers, from in person training to videos to an education based website.

It is hoped that by helping teachers feel more comfortable and have a better understanding of the basics of meteorology, they will then better be able to teach their students about the weather. If students have a good understanding of the weather basics they will do better on end of the year assessment testing, but more importantly hopefully some of them with be inspired to further explore the world of meteorology and perhaps one day become meteorologist looking to better understand the world of weather around us.

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