BOULDER–This summer the National Center for Atmospheric Research
(NCAR) is offering 20 middle and high school science teachers a
chance to learn more about natural and human-induced changes to Earth

The Climate and Global Change Geoscience Education Workshop runs from
July 21 to August 1 in Boulder. Teachers will explore all aspects of
earth science related to climate and global change during the
workshop’s field trips, demonstrations, computer lab activities, and
presentations by scientists from NCAR and elsewhere. They will take
away useful science content and training materials appropriate to
education standards at their schools.

“Middle and high school students are expected to understand the
meaning of weather and climate, the role of the atmosphere in Earth’s
system, and human impacts on the atmosphere and climate change,”
explains Sandra Henderson, workshop director. “Scientific knowledge
of these topics is rapidly advancing. NCAR is sponsoring the workshop
to help teachers stay current through exposure to state-of-the-art
research at its national labs.”

More than 20 scientists, most of them from NCAR, will give
presentations to the teachers on topics that include atmospheric
dynamics, plate tectonics, the greenhouse effect, biogeochemical
cycles, volcanic effects, ocean-atmosphere interactions, societal
impacts, public policy, and more.

The 20 teachers from around the country were selected from a pool of
more than 100 applicants. They are required to make at least two
outreach efforts after the workshop to share what they’ve learned
with colleagues in their local schools. Henderson hopes their
outreach efforts will have a ripple effect and create more interest
in geoscience education.

This is the second annual geosciences education conference of its
type at NCAR. “We’re using evaluation and feedback from last year’s
workshop to make this year’s event even more useful to teachers,”
Henderson says.

This year’s workshop offers teachers a new distance-learning
component that will allow them to maintain contact with NCAR staff
after the workshop and receive further instruction and support,
Henderson says. It will also make the workshop’s content and
activities accessible to a wider, international audience.

NCAR hosted another education workshop, Modeling in the Geosciences,
for two weeks in June. Funded by NASA, that workshop introduced
teachers to the concept of modeling as it applies to scientific
research, with a focus on the atmospheric and related sciences.

“We’re lucky to be able to draw some of the best K-12 science
educators in the country to join us for these opportunities,” says
Roberta Johnson, director of education and outreach at the University
Corporation for Atmospheric Research, NCAR’s parent organization.
“I’m impressed by the leverage we gain through working with these
experienced trainers.”

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages
the National Center for Atmospheric Research under primary
sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Opinions,
findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this
publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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