15th Symposium on Education


Weather Outside our Window: Data-Rich, Inquiry-Based Case Studies on Rocky Mountain Front Range Weather

Sandra Laursen, CIRES/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and L. Avallone, J. P. Hacker, W. Schreiber-Abshire, and B. Hendrickson

We have developed data-rich, inquiry-based case studies on local weather, using a place-based approach that combines use of real weather data with local relevance to teachers and students living in Colorado's Front Range. The cases apply basic weather principles and teach weather data interpretation skills using real examples of local weather phenomena with substantial human impact. The Overland Fire case looks at the role of weather in both starting and putting out a wildland fire, and the Big Spring Snow case examines a record-setting snowstorm that shows the interaction of general weather patterns with regional topography. The cases have been used in Earth science courses for teachers; teacher feedback will be applied to the subsequent development of more student-friendly technologies and additional cases. The cases were developed through a collaboration between the university and the local Denver-Boulder chapter of the AMS. We will share both our particular model for data-driven weather education and the general lessons we have learned through this scientist-educator partnership.

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

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