15th Symposium on Education


NASA CloudSat: Students and scientists have their heads in the clouds

Debra K. Krumm, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and J. Lockett

CloudSat, a NASA satellite mission partners the world's most advanced weather radar designed to measure properties of clouds that are essential for accurate understanding of Earth's weather and climate processes with an interactive international network of K-12 schools. Providing the first vertical profiles of global measurements of cloud thickness, height, water and ice content and a wide range of precipitation data linked to cloud development, CloudSat measurements will fill a critical gap in understanding how clouds affect climate (http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/). Any mission of this nature requires extensive ground-based reference data. The CloudSat Education Network provides the opportunity for a subset of GLOBE Program (http://www.globe.gov) schools and others to partner with CloudSat scientists to provide atmospheric data. In return, the Network links together scientists, students, teachers, and their communities to give students meaningful, authentic and contemporary high quality educational experiences. Student activities and learning outcomes designed within the program have been chosen to meet both general education outcomes and specific standards or objectives from local school curricula. The main focus of the knowledge development component of the project is to help students better understand long-term climate change and the climatic processes that maintain the Earth's Energy balance. Scientists receive research-quality data in support of the mission and in return interact with students, teachers and their students to promote interest in science. Participation in the network throughout the duration of the project will be monitored and schools will be asked to maintain certain levels of participation. The data requested will include cloud cover, cloud type, current temperature, and/or precipitation collected according to GLOBE specifications, along with additional data specific to the CloudSat mission requested by CloudSat scientists. Canada, Thailand and New Zealand are the primary CEN partner countries, while Australia, West Africa, Europe and the United States also have participating schools.

Poster Session 1, Educational Initiatives
Sunday, 29 January 2006, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Exhibit Hall A2

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