12th Symposium on Education


School Superintendents' Use of Weather Information

Alan C. Czarnetzki, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

The Science center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (The STORM Project) at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) seeks to increase public access to and understanding of atmospheric science. In the spring of 2001, a survey was distributed to all (374) school superintendents in Iowa. Questions in the survey were designed to assess the superintendents’ use of weather information in making various weather-related decisions. Seventy-three percent (273) of the surveys were completed and returned. Based on the compiled results, preliminary programming was developed and delivered to a group of nine local superintendents in the fall of 2001. This subset of Iowa school superintendents attended a 4-hour training session at UNI during which winter weather issues were discussed. In addition, attendees were introduced to 2 software packages designed for non-meteorologist decision makers. The superintendents partnered with STORM in the evaluation of this software during winter 2001-2002. Ironically, this time period was characterized by very mild conditions. As such, the test group did not have many opportunities to make weather-related decisions about school delays or cancellations. Nonetheless, several important issues did arise that will improve the delivery of weather resources to superintendents. A second training period is planned for the winter of 2002-2003. The results of the first season and preliminary findings of the second season will be shared during this presentation.

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Supplementary URL: http://www.uni.edu/storm

Session 1, K–12 Educational Initiatives
Monday, 10 February 2003, 8:30 AM-10:15 AM

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