The AMS Education Program has been actively training teachers in the atmospheric, oceanic, and climatological sciences for 20 years. Over 16,000 teachers have taken part in its professional development program, DataStreme. In June, some of DataStreme-trained teachers attended a NOAA brown-bag seminar, where their presentations were seen by NOAA education officials.
The teachers—who hailed from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware—are representatives from an AMS DataStreme Local Implementation Team (LIT). The LIT teams are run by a master teacher and local scientist. The setup provides training for teachers in a specific scientific field as well as helping them strategize ways to bring scientific information into the classroom. LIT team leader and DOE Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow John Moore was so inspired by the teachers’ hard work and creative applications of Earth Science to their classrooms that he orchestrated the brown-bag meeting to facilitate dialog between the NOAA funders and the end-result teachers.
The teachers described the positive impact of bringing real-world NOAA and NASA data into the classroom, using skills from AMS DataStreme courses. They shared how strategies developed in DataStreme Atmosphere, Ocean, and Earth’s Climate System programs could be creatively implemented in the classroom, such as introducing a climate-science section by reading a novel with a general environmental theme, or comparing “textbook” atmospheric data with real data provided by NOAA and NASA. Teachers lauded DataStreme for providing the relevance needed to keep their students excited about science and help develop them into better decision makers. Others thanked NOAA and NASA for the opportunity to bring free, real-world data into the classroom.
In addition to the live audience, the presentations were also Web cast to NOAA offices across the country. The Archived PowerPoint slides from their presentations can be accessed at http://www.lib.noaa.gov/about/news/brownbagseminars.html.