The UCAR Center for Science Education (UCAR SciEd) and BSCS are developing GLOBE Weather, an innovative, NGSS-based middle school science unit that combines activities, data analysis, and scientific protocols from the GLOBE Program. This project is funded by NASA and in coordination with the GLOBE Implementation Office. The final curriculum unit will be available (and free!) in 2019.
In the 5-week GLOBE Weather curriculum, students will engage with weather data to make sense of interesting real-world phenomena through the BSCS 5E instructional approach. The curriculum helps students understand NGSS-based weather concepts such as the uneven heating of Earth, local and global atmospheric circulation, and air mass formation and collision as they investigate weather patterns and extreme weather events that we experience. Resources provided in the curriculum will include teacher and student materials, model assessments, GLOBE resources, and materials for use in teacher professional development.
GLOBE is the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program. According to the program website, it is "an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment." GLOBE Weather is intended for use by both existing GLOBE teachers and teachers who are new to GLOBE.
Members from the GLOBE Weather Team (Becca Hatheway, John Ristvey, Lisa Gardiner and Renee Curry Minaya from UCAR and Lindsey Mohan from BSCS) attended the 21st GLOBE Annual Meeting at Southern Connecticut State University from July 30th - August 3rd in New Haven, Connecticut. We presented an overview of this new project and received valuable feedback to improve the curriculum. Approximately 250 people attended the meeting, including GLOBE students, teachers, scientists, U.S. Partners, and International Country Coordinators from 40 countries.
Scientists and teachers presented their GLOBE work, forged new collaborations, and were able to partake in fieldwork to learn GLOBE data protocols such as how to take accurate measurements of air temperature or soil moisture. Meanwhile, K-12 national and international students collected data from a local coastal area and presented their findings at the meeting. We all attended an event at the nearby Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.
Two weeks after the GLOBE Annual Meeting, the GLOBE Weather team held a teacher professional development workshop in Boulder, Colorado for the teachers who will field test GLOBE Weather this fall. Twelve middle school science teachers were selected out of approximately 230 applicants to field test the instructional unit with students. During this workshop, teachers were introduced to the GLOBE Weather curriculum to help prepare to implement this new curriculum in grades 6 through 8. Once we have their feedback, we will make revisions and then select a new cohort of 12 teachers for a summer workshop and fall field test in 2018. By early 2019, we will be finished with the field tests and curriculum revisions and will be disseminating this curriculum out nationwide. Look for GLOBE Weather in early 2019!