Monday, 10 February 2003
Visualizing Weather in the Classroom
It is often a challenge for educators to teach the temporal and spatial dynamics of weather, and have students fully understand the interactions between the surface and upper air patterns. In recent years computer technology and software packages have become economically affordable to enable the graphical presentation of weather in an interactive manner. Environmental WorkBench (EWB) has been used to create a series of visualizations that greatly enhance the learning and understanding of these weather interactions. Surface data can be viewed along with upper air-flow patterns, and satellite and radar overlays can be added to the graphic. The entire loop can be animated showing the patterns through time and space. Educators (both University and K-12) can employ this tool as a stand-alone demonstration on a CD-Rom, or can use the program with current data, for their teaching demonstrations. This is done at Minnesota State University as a classroom visualization of weather. This presentation should serve as an example to other educators showing a user-friendly tool to enhance their teaching of weather.