We share our experiences in teaching a laboratory based undergraduate course at MIT – the Weather and Climate Laboratory – which combines a rotating fluids lab with use of real-time meteorological observations to explore some basic principles of rotating fluids. The undergraduate course, which is now recognized by MIT as an ‘Institute Laboratory’, is providing the context in which, over the next three years, we develop and evaluate the experiments and teaching methods.
Our target audience is sophomores, juniors and seniors majoring in earth science or environmental engineering. But a wide range of students from other science or engineering disciplines could also benefit.
The course web contains descriptions of the fluid experiments and all associated material: http://paoc.mit.edu/12307/