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NCAR News Release

2003-31 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2003

Geoscience Workshop Brings Teachers to NCAR


David Hosansky
UCAR Communications
Telephone: (303) 497-8611
E-mail: hosansky@ucar.edu

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 systems.

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."


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The National Center for Atmospheric Research and UCAR Office of Programs are operated by UCAR under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation and other agencies. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any of UCAR's sponsors. UCAR is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

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Last revised: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 5:25 PM