Author Topic: Teaching Weather to different age groups  (Read 7401 times)

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Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Teaching Weather to different age groups
« on: 08 August 2006, 12:45:38 PM »
The following is in reference to synoptic charts but can applied to other difficult concepts in weather. (The following is the response from an email question)

I know you may not have wanted a detailed explanation but I want to outline the problem beyond what is suggested in your original question.

I guess there are a few ways to come up with a solution. First, the teacher creates resources based on what they know or simplify some of their researched . Unfortunately, the whole "true" concept behind weather maps must be understood by educators before they can design and instruct lessons and resources. If the concept is severely biased to what we hear from the media, then I guess we have a problem - we are teaching the incorrect concept.

What I am encouraging in our forum

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/forum/index.php

is someone to begin discussions with a group approach to this problem in the "Teacher Educational Resources"  one of the sections within the forum. As you may notice it is empty, but once a group gets in and the word gets around then this can work. It is as easy as people sharing ideas, web links, making their own resources appropriate to their students. I will definitely help in disucssions and answering questions because it is already there. In fact I will use this to start a discussion on the forum - feel free to get involved - I won't mention your name unless you wish to get involved. Then begin with specific questions and we can get some ideas going.

Obviously, the use of colour to differentiate concepts are important hot versus cold and different pressure regions high pressure versus low prssure. There are colour maps online these days.

An important concept is to use overlays with synoptic charts and satellite pictures taken at the same time.

You could use animations - there a lot of javacript animation online resources that allow animations including overlays. Unfortunately, these are real resources and to be used for demonstration purposes.

How about taking measurements in the classroom of pressure / temperature but tyring to relate pressure to the point on the weathermap at that time 9am 12 noon 3pm and see if it matches the maps.

Also we need to differentiate between synoptic analysis charts as compared to forecast charts. Be careful of the latter - especially some of the pretty simplified versions.

There are also various activities where students can plot weather maps joining points of equal pressure - at this level you would make one yourself and make it easy. The more complex it becomes even adults could have issues!

How about history of weather maps?

How about the gifted and talented, this is a great concept to extend them given that students can take it up to an upper level. Most storm chasers and meteorologists are gifted or talented!
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