12th Symposium on Education


Weather Education for Elementary and Middle School Teachers: Using AMS Education Materials as a Professional Development Tool

Rene' T. Carson, Little Rock School District, Little Rock, AR

Most elementary and middle school teachers have not been adequately prepared to teach weather concepts or concepts about oceans found in the curriculum. Courses in earth science are not stressed in the selection of science courses taken for their degree plan. Therefore, many teachers are not adequately prepared to explain how or why events happen in our daily weather or in an ocean. When a module about oceans was added to our curriculum, many of out teachers did not want to teach the material because they did not have enough experience or knowledge about oceans. Many of the concepts related to weather and oceans in our curriculum were not being taught or were taught incorrectly. Students are usually excited about studying the weather and the magnificent activities associated with weather. Many of our students have seen an ocean and they hold many mysteries. Often students are confused when their classroom study of the unit is over.

Using material found in the Project Atmosphere modules, the Maury modules, and the material in the DataStreme course and in the Water in the Earth System course, teachers can receive the correct training on the weather concepts found in their curriculum. The curriculum in our school district contain many difficult weather concept. Modules from Project Atmosphere on Highs and Lows, Severe Weather, Clouds, and Reading Radar were used to explain some of the material that needed to be presented to their students. Modules from Maury relating to ocean currents, and El Nina, and other difficult concepts surrounding oceans have been used to increase their understanding of oceans.

Teachers, who were students in DataStreme and WES, have also used the knowledge gained in these courses to share information with fellow teachers in their building.

Teachers in our school district are much better prepared to teach concepts relating to weather and oceans to our students. The interest was always there, just not the understanding. Several schools are applying for grants to construct weather stations at their schools to be able to expand their understanding of weather phenomena.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (24K)

Poster Session 1, Poster Session: K-12, Popular and University Educational Initiatives
Sunday, 9 February 2003, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM

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