Activity-based learning “encourages students to actively participate in their own learning experiences through practical activities such as problem solving and independent investigation. This teaching method encourages students to be independently inquisitive, to think critically and to work collaboratively.” Project-based learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by responding to authentic, engaging, and complex questions, problems, and challenges. In both pedagogical scenarios, students “become scientists” with their own questions, data, and results while becoming active participants in the scientific community.
Students (and teachers) are able to access a wealth of real-time and climatological data available to students, along with a variety of data collection and analysis tools. A high school atmospheric science course can be effectively transformed into an activity- and project-based course that leverages these data and tools to address essential questions and enduring understandings by thoughtfully connecting learning objectives and learning outcomes.
This paper will provide an overview of Atmospheric Science, a Grade 12 science elective taken by students at Marymount School of New York, which has been offered since 2004 and has evolved as access to data and new technologies has evolved. Students engage in a variety of learning experiences that require them locate and verify appropriate data sources; collect and analyze real-time weather data; and then consider the best way to represent that data through multi-modal approaches. Learning activities such as the Neighborhood Air Pollution Data Lab and the Advanced Climate Model Activity help students build agency in key atmospheric science concepts and principles. Projects such as the Weekend Weather Forecast; the Google Earth Drought Project; and the Climate Change Podcast help students extend their knowledge as well as share their work with the global community. Samples of student work will be shared and strategies for planning and assessment will be discussed.
How to cite: Walters, E.: It’s All About the Weather! An Activity- and Project-based Atmospheric Science Course for High School Students., EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-403, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-403, 2021.