181 A Three-Year Success Story: AMS Climate Studies for the Diverse Student Population at the University of Hawaii West Oahu

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Richard Marshall Jones, Univ. of Hawaii, Kaploei, HI

Handout (5.5 MB)

Science education is one of the most pressing concerns in modern education within the United States and overseas. This is due mainly to the need of a STEM literate labor force and the difficulties experienced in delivering scientific concepts and critical thinking skills to students, almost globally. Additionally, modern societies are undergoing unprecedented social pressure due to rapid accumulating environmental changes as well as the skyrocketing cost of education. In this context, this paper intends to present and discuss the findings from the first three years for students enrolled in a Meteorology course that is foundationally supported by the AMS Studies Climate Course. The author is an alumnus of the AMS 2013 Climate Studies Diversity Project Summer Professional Development workshop and presented initial results at the AMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA in February 2014. The student population represented in this study is primarily first generation college attendees and represented a wide range of demographics including a large percentage of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and students of Filipino decent. The majority of enrolled students are non–science majors and intend to pursue careers mainly in the Liberal Arts, Economics and Communication. Data were collected using a variety of methods, including online surveys through Likert items that compared the students rating of this Climate Courses to their Campus, College, Division, and Department Mean values for all General Education courses. Additional questions were included in end of course evaluations that were qualitative and encouraged open response and student comments and suggestions. These questions were focused on the enhancement of personal and/or professional development, activities and resources that could be added to the course to improve learning, improving the course and/or the instructor's teaching style and methods, overall evaluation of the instructor, and overall evaluation of the course. Based on the accumulated data for three years the use of the AMS Undergraduate Climate course is presented as viable approach to STEM and Climate Literacy for a very diverse population of students. Links to other possibilities for the success for this program including alignment with student’s interests (determined in some cases by cultural and social conditions, the subject they are majoring in, and in some as a combination of factors) will also be discussed as ways to motivate these students to enroll into science classes as well as to show appreciation for these often abstract subjects. Prospective ideas on how to implement this course, as well as, the courses enhancement of student appreciation for quantitative estimates within science and the use of technology for science education will be discussed.

Supplementary URL: http://postersmith.com/poster/share/a0guz69

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