Projects and Programs

Educational programs at the UCAR Center for Science Education align with our mission to develop educational experiences that connect NCAR|UCAR science to diverse learners, creating pathways towards a scientifically literate society. We accomplish our mission by:

  • Developing high-quality learning materials for learners of all ages that are shared on the UCAR SciEd website,
  • Providing virtual and in-person learning experiences through the exhibits and tours at our facilities and through educator conferences and public events, and
  • Supporting Proteges during summer research and year-round through the SOARS Program.
Explore highlights about current and past programs below.

Argos: Using Satellites to Learn About Animals

Principal Investigators: Lisa Gardiner
Funder: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Department of Commerce

Short Summary: 

These educational resources were developed at the UCAR Center for Science Education as an outreach effort of Argos, a system of instruments aboard satellites used to track tagged animals around the world and help understand other aspects of our planet.

This collection of classroom activities and the Follow Me! comic book tell the stories of animals that are often hard to observe — animals that live in hard-to-reach places, travel long distances, or live underwater. Based on research projects that track animals with satellites, these activities illustrate how technology can help us learn about the natural world. 


Type of Collaboration: Tell Science Stories: Exhibits and Online Resources

Type of Collaboration: Tell Science Stories: Exhibits and Online Resources

Elementary GLOBE

Principal Investigators: Becca Hatheway, Lisa Gardiner
Funder: NASA

Short Summary:

Elementary GLOBE, part of the GLOBE Program, is designed to introduce students in grades K-4 to the study of Earth system science through storybooks and hands-on learning activities. The Elementary GLOBE curriculum resources include seven learning modules: Air Quality, Climate, Clouds, Earth System, Seasons, Soils, and Water. Each learning module contains a storybook and several companion classroom activities. A Teacher Implementation Guide provides an overview of Elementary GLOBE, standards alignment, and information about the curriculum’s connections to other parts of elementary school curricula.

In each storybook, the GLOBE Kids (Simon, Anita, and Dennis) explore an aspect of their local environment. Storybooks are available as free downloadable PDFs and eBooks at Elementary GLOBE and are available for purchase from Amazon. Hands-on classroom activities, coloring pages, and the Teacher Implementation Guide are available as free downloads from the Elementary GLOBE website


Education Level: Elementary School
Type of Collaboration: Connect with Teachers and Faculty, Develop Instructional Materials, Tell Science Stories: Exhibits and Online Resources

Monsoon Learning Resources

Principal Investigator: Lisa Gardiner
Funder: National Science Foundation via Yale University

Short Summary:

UCAR Center for Science Education’s Lisa Gardiner worked with Yale professor William Boos (now at UC Berkeley) and COMET visualization expert Steve Deyo to develop monsoon science educational resources, including web-based articles, illustrations, and a data-driven visualization of global monsoon patterns. Resources were disseminated online via the Learning Zone and the Learn About Monsoons section of the World Monsoons website and used in a Yale University summer course about monsoons for high school students.

Type of Collaboration: Connect with Teachers and Faculty, Tell Science Stories: Exhibits and Online Resources

Zika Zine

Principal Investigators: Lisa Gardiner
Funder: US Department of State via the GLOBE Implementation Office

Short Summary:

The Zika Zine is an outreach effort of the GLOBE Zika Education and Prevention Project. This informal education resource was translated into ten languages and disseminated to librarians and teachers in the GLOBE Mission Mosquito network. 

While the Zika Zine’s fictional mosquitoes can talk, they otherwise do the same sorts of things as real Aedes mosquitoes, which carry the Zika virus. Read the Zine, learn how Aedes mosquitoes live, and discover how to reduce the number of places where mosquitoes can survive. You’ll also find out how citizen scientists are helping NASA by documenting mosquito habitats with GLOBE Observer. After you’ve read the Zika Zine, download the coloring pages, How to Draw Wanda in 9 Easy Steps and Make Your Own Zika Zine Comic and create your own mosquito pictures and stories.

Type of Collaboration: Tell Science Stories: Exhibits and Online Resources