14th Symp on Education


EdGCM: Enhancing Climate Education Through Climate Modeling Research Projects

Mark A. Chandler, NASA/GISS at Columbia University, New York, NY; and S. J. Richards and M. F. Shopsin

Global climate models (GCMs) are one of the primary tools of climate research today. Unfortunately, few educators have access to such models. The primary goal of EdGCM is to improve the quality of teaching and learning of climate-change science in grades 9-12 by providing broader access to an actual GCM and to help teachers use a research-quality climate model effectively in the classroom. The utilization of EdGCM in undergraduate and graduate courses and by the atmospheric/earth systems science research communities is also anticipated. The main objectives of the project are two-fold:

1) Provide training to educators in the use of a GCM that operates on desktop computers through a graphical educator/student-friendly interface. The training encourages educators to involve students in the full scientific process by including: hypothesis development, experiment design, running simulations, visualization and analysis of data, and reporting results.

2) Facilitate collaborations between universities and the K-12 community, and between educational institutions and research scientists so that students can become familiar with the critical role that teamwork plays in climate science today.

To accomplish its goal, the EdGCM project, currently funded by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation, has created a suite of software, which includes a desktop version of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies GCM. EdGCM software simplifies the management of a research-quality climate model by using a traditional point-and-click interface. Experiments are automatically archived in a searchable database and easy-to-use utilities are included for analyzing results (plotting, mapping, etc). Moreover, the software allows students and others to produce reports (text and images) and export them to the web in the format of a scientific manuscript. The EdGCM project encourages the collaboration of students, teachers, university faculty, and the science research community in supporting student research investigations through its on-line Forum, eJournal, SimExchange (simulation exchange) and web publishing components. The EdGCM website, http://www.edgcm.org/, has been established in support of these efforts as well as other EdGCM initiatives. Ultimately, EdGCM permits teachers and students to explore the fundamentals of climate science utilizing tools identical to those used in major climate research programs.

The EdGCM Project is designed to respond to the National Science Education Standards (NSES) (National Research Council), the Project 2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy (American Association for the Advancement of Science), the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) and Performance Indicators For Teachers (International Society for Technology in Education) and the National Geography Standards (National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE).

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Session 1, K-12 and Popular Initiatives
Monday, 10 January 2005, 1:30 PM-5:30 PM

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