Education and training


Education and training
Convener: Tomas Halenka
Lightning talks
| Thu, 09 Sep, 11:00–12:30 (CEST)

Lightning talks: Thu, 9 Sep

Chairperson: Tomas Halenka
Vieri Tarchiani, Maurizio Bacci, Elena Rapisardi, Patrick Parrish, Luciane Veek, Massimiliano Pasqui, Edmondo Di Giuseppe, Guido Righini, Marco Simonetti, and Marina Baldi

Distance learning is assuming a greater value in professional training both because of its lower cost compared to face-to-face learning and for the opportunities it provides in periods when trainee displacement is hindered by socio-political or health emergencies (e.g. the recent covid-19 pandemic). Moreover, distance learning allows us to create lasting learning resources that otherwise would not be continuously available for trainees. During recent years, the World Meteorological Organization invested human and financial resources in the development of the Global Campus initiative, which has  virtual spaces where learning materials and opportunities are gathered and made available to users. As part of the Global Campus initiative, the Regional Training Center in Italy, with the support of the Italian Ministries of Foreign Affairs, developed several distance learning packages among which the TOPaCS (Training Operational Package For Climate Services) addresses the training needs of Climate Services Professionals in sub-Saharan Africa. TOPaCS builds on the competency-based training approach and on the application of up-to-date training solutions such as the integrated use of different multimedia supports and the use of Open Badges to certify learning. Synchronous distance learning was also tested for teaching soft skills related to climate services communication. This contribution analyzes pros and cons of distance learning approaches, comparing synchronous and asynchronous solutions and their suitability for hard and soft skills teaching. It highlights opportunities and constraints, critical points and key strategic choices in the development of distance learning. The results of the study highlight that flexible solutions and versatile approaches allow personalized training paths according to end-user needs. Asynchronous microlearning (very small units of study) can be helpful in this perspective but it may result in the atomization of the training modules and the fragmentation of education pathways. Synchronous distance learning is often more appropriate for soft skills but requires larger development  efforts and more efficient technical solutions (e.g. higher bandwidth), which can be an issue in some developing countries. 

How to cite: Tarchiani, V., Bacci, M., Rapisardi, E., Parrish, P., Veek, L., Pasqui, M., Di Giuseppe, E., Righini, G., Simonetti, M., and Baldi, M.: Benefits and Challenges of distance Learning approaches for the Training of Climate Services Professionals in sub-Saharan Africa, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-32,, 2021.

Janette Bessembinder, Judith Klostermann, Rutger Dankers, Vladimir Djurdjevic, and Tomas Halenka

The provision of climate services to users is a fast developing field. In support of this development, the IS-ENES3 project, funded within the EC Horizon2020 program, organized three schools on “Climate data for impact assessments” in 2020 and 2021. In an Autumn school, a Spring school and a Summer school, climate scientists and impact scientists were brought together. An important aim of the schools was to enhance interaction between Vulnerability-Impact-Adaptation (VIA) researchers, climate services providers and climate researchers. Another aim was to provide an overview of information on climate modeling, climate data, impact modelling and climate services based on the work of the IS-ENE3 project.

In the first three weeks a series of lectures was given, covering topics such as climate data and modelling, impact models, portals for accessing and processing climate data, setting-up impact assessments, and communication of results to stakeholders. In the last three weeks the participants worked in small groups of one climate scientist with one impact scientist on a case study under the guidance of the course lecturers. Impact and climate researchers were combined on purpose to let them experience how they could help each other.

Originally the schools were planned to take place on-site (e.g. in Prague) during one week; however, due to COVID-19 the schools had to be transformed to virtual schools with two weekly sessions during six weeks. Although the virtual set-up had some disadvantages (e.g. less possibilities for networking), there were also some advantages (e.g. the possibility to record the lectures and make them available to a broader audience; more time to explore and work with climate data in between the sessions, no CO2 emissions for travelling). During this presentation we will present the set-up of the schools and the conversion to a virtual school. We will focus on the lessons learnt and the evaluation of the virtual schools by the participants and give some recommendations for similar schools and how to link the climate and VIA research communities .

How to cite: Bessembinder, J., Klostermann, J., Dankers, R., Djurdjevic, V., and Halenka, T.: Experiences with virtual schools on “Climate data for impact assessments”, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-353,, 2021.

Montserrat Llasat-Botija and Maria Carmen Llasat

In this communication, FLOODUP, a strategy that combines a participatory methodology (citizen science) with educational activities, will be presented as a measure of adaptation to floods and their possible increase due to climate change. The adaptation strategies to climate change range from structural measures (building a dam, for example) to non-structural measures (legislation and improvement of risk assessment, for example). In recent years it has become clear that it is necessary to increase the risk awareness of the population in the face of extreme events such as floods, not only when they occur but also before and after (Hyogo Framework). The population's lack of awareness in front of natural hazards makes it difficult to take responsible decisions at the individual and community level. This is especially relevant considering the context of climate change, which also contributes with a perception of uncertainty. In this context, the development of innovative adaptation strategies based on the knowledge are needed. These strategies are also an opportunity to face the challenges associated with SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

The objective of FLOODUP project is double: (a) to improve the knowledge, capacitation and empowerment of the population in front of natural hazards and climatic change and (b) to collect information about their impact and management through citizen science. The tools developed in the project as a mobile application, questionnaires or educational materials will be presented. The main campaigns carried out will also be shown. Their aim is to generate spaces for reflection, especially after flood events. On the other hand, the itinerary of citizen science that is developed in secondary schools and its strengths and weaknesses will be presented. Finally, it will analyze how to respond to current challenges, such as those associated with the SDGs, from projects such as FLOODUP.

This work has been done in the framework of the M-CostAdapt (CTM2017-83655-C2-1&2-R) research project, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN-AEI/FEDER, UE) and the PIRAGUA project EFA210/16 Interreg V Spain-France-Andorre Programme (POCTEFA 2014-2020, EU).

How to cite: Llasat-Botija, M. and Llasat, M. C.: A climate change adaptation measure through education and citizen science. The project FLOODUP, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-256,, 2021.

Lydie Lescarmontier, Eric Guilyardi, Simon Klein, Djian Sadadou, Mathilde Tricoire, and David Wilgenbus

The essential role of education in addressing the causes and consequences of anthropogenic climate change is increasingly being recognised at an international level. The Office for Climate Education (OCE) develops educational resources and proposes professional development opportunities to support teachers, worldwide, to mainstream climate change education. Drawing upon the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, the OCE has produced a set of educational resources that cover the scientific and societal dimensions, at local and global levels, while developing students’ reasoning abilities and guiding them to take action (mitigation and/or adaptation) in their schools or communities. These resources include:

1. Ready-to-use teacher handbook that (i) target students from the last years of primary school to the end of lower-secondary school (aged 9 to 15), (ii) include scientific and pedagogical overviews, lesson plans, activities and worksheets, (iii) are interdisciplinary, covering topics in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts and physical education, (iv) promote active pedagogies: inquiry- based science education, role-play, debate, projectbased learning.

2. A Summary for teachers of the IPCC Special Report, presented together with a selection of related activities and exercises that can be implemented in the classroom.

3. A set of 10 videos where experts speak about a specific issue related to the ocean or the cryosphere, in the context of climate change.

4. A set of 4 multimedia activities offering students the possibility of working interactively in different topics related to climate change.

5. A set of 3 resources for teacher trainers, offering turnkey training protocols on the topics of climate change, ocean and cryosphere.

How to cite: Lescarmontier, L., Guilyardi, E., Klein, S., Sadadou, D., Tricoire, M., and Wilgenbus, D.: Resource for teachers on the "Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate", EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-153,, 2021.

Martin Göber, Henning Rust, Thomas Kox, Bianca Wentzel, Christopher Böttcher, Jonas Lehmke, Andreas Trojand, and Nadine Fleischhut

Voluntary weather measurements have a long tradition and the opportunities have recently expanded with that the advent of the Internet of Things. Atmospheric measurements are prototypical examples for the maker community and popular means to strengthen interest in STEM subjects. In two projects in Germany  (in Brandenburg, within the FESSTVaL (Field Experiment on submesoscale spatio-temporal variability in Lindenberg) measurement campaign initiated by the Hans-Ertel-Center for Weather Research, and in Bavaria, in the KARE-Citizen Science  project), we use a weather station to be assembled by pupils as a participatory vehicle to increase interest in and understanding of weather and climate, as well as of weather forecasting, and to generate high resolution data for research.

The devices measure e.g. temperature, humidity, radiation, pressure and precipitation in the students' immediate environment. They can be placed in almost any location, since they operate independent of W-LAN and external power supply. The data is visualized directly via a web app. Students report weather impacts, such as observed damage or their own exposure to weather. Due to the pandemic, only a few dozens pupils were able to participate and building their devices had to be done with digital guidance and video support. Further online materials on understanding weather forecasting and its uncertainty were provided.

Understanding of weather risks was surveyed before and after participation to detect any changes. Students were asked questions about thunderstorm, rain and heat events and climatic changes since 1880. The results show a good understanding of weather risks compared to a population of all ages representative study. In online workshops pupils together with the scientists scetched and discussed the influence of the placement of their stations on their measurements. Interesting meteorological phenomena were discovered in the dataset, e.g. a cold pool that can form during a thunderstorm and trigger new ones. Thus, our network of higher spatial and temporal resolution data collected by the pupils has the potential to study these small-scale phenomena in more detail than with professional networks of about 25 km spacing.

How to cite: Göber, M., Rust, H., Kox, T., Wentzel, B., Böttcher, C., Lehmke, J., Trojand, A., and Fleischhut, N.: Build, measure, understand: Pupils contributing to meteorological measurement campaigns., EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-398,, 2021.

Eric Walters

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,, 2021.

Ildikó Takátsné Lucz and Péter Tasnádi

Last year a new National Curriculum was introduced in Hungary. Its framework not only restructured physics teaching but also have brought some changes in its content. In addition to the traditional chapters some new topics (such as the process of lightning activities, the issues of lightning-protection and the proper behaviour in lightning-hazardous situations) have emerged into the Curriculum. The aim of this study is to create and share teaching resources for secondary school students and their teachers which concern lightning strikes and damages caused by them. Thunderstorms and lightning activities are very complex and exciting phenomena which stimulate the students’ curiosity and consequently may increase their physics engagement and motivation. Furthermore, studying this topic provides students with excellent opportunities to develop their scientific thinking and deepen their science knowledge.

Our method for the investigation was the following: In total, 55 students (16-17-years old) were chosen to participate in this study. They were asked to fill in a pre-questionnaire in order to get an overview about their prior knowledge in lightning process and lightning protection. Several questions concerned misconceptions related to the topic. We were interested in what the students thought about them. Afterwards, we analysed the students’ responses and identified the areas which should be focused on. Some teaching resources and also worksheets were created based on the book An Introduction to Lightning written by Vernon Cooray. 

Before starting our discussions about lightning flashes we briefly summarized the stages of thunderstorm build-up, the formation of thunderstorm clouds and their electrification processes. After describing how clouds gain charges we examined the birth and development of lightning bolts and the operation of the global atmospheric electric circuit. Then we focused on the physics of lightning flashes, especially the mechanism of lightning strikes, the electric and magnetic field generated by them and their consequences. It was a great challenge to give the students elementary explanations for these problems as they do not have the necessary mathematical apparatus to accurately describe the electromagnetic field produced by lightning flashes. Particular attention has been paid to the electromagnetic spectrum of the strikes, the electromagnetic radiation in radio-, optic-, and in high-frequency ranges. Finally, students gained a brief insight into the method of lightning localization and lightning protection.

Based on our experience and the students’ feedback the topic could help spark student curiosity and promote their science and critical thinking. Moreover, the results of the students’ pre- and post-tests provide evidence that our teaching resources can also be effective in supporting student independent learning.

How to cite: Takátsné Lucz, I. and Tasnádi, P.: How to teach lightning activities to spark student curiosity?, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-78,, 2021.

Beáta Molnár, Tamás Weidinger, and Péter Tasnádi

 It has become a requirement worldwide that physics syllabus should contain everyday knowledge as well. One important field that can make the curriculum more colourful and exciting is the field of meteorology. In our presentation a three-lesson-long curriculum for grammar schools will be introduced on how to teach the connection between fog formation and air quality. Mist (visibility between 1 and 5 km) and fog (visibility below 1 km) are frequent weather events in the Carpathian Basin in the winter half year and during mostly anticyclonic weather situations with durations of 500-1000 and 150-300 hours respectively. In these cases often occurs the temperature inversions, the cold air pool events thus the high concentration of pollutants. The international educational experience of this particular topic will be surveyed, mainly in the countries of the Carpathian Basin; moreover the measurement processes and education methods used in the GLOBE programme will also be presented. The curriculum was tried within the framework of physics among 14 to 16-year-old Slovakian secondary school students partially in long-distance education on the Internet. Students’ knowledge on the given subject was tested both before and after the experiment.

The experimental curriculum consists of three parts. In the first part air humidity and the notion of absolute and relative humidity are discussed. Through a few specific exercises the students learn to specify relative humidity and become acquainted with fog formation. It is shown via an experiment that air cooling at a constant humidity is not enough to form fog because condensational cores are needed for the formation of tiny water drops. In the 2nd lesson the concept of temperature inversion and its connection to fog and air pollution are discussed. With the use of Internet websites the students collect information about the formation of smog, its types, occurrence and the conditions announcing smog alert. In the 3rd lesson the methods of analysing air pollution and different air polluting materials are discussed. Websites, where the students can follow the air pollution data of their area, are used. On the grounds of this tasks about interpretation of the data are solved. Pieces of information which are available on the website of the European Environment Agency are also touched on. It was a new realization for them that the inhabitants of poverty-stricken valleys were more vulnerable to the formation of smog.

Other than helping the students better understand the concept of humidity, the experiment helped them better understand changes in consistency. Based on our experience, the experimental curriculum motivated the students to understand processes which take place in their environment regarding environmental protection and to make suggestions about solving these problems. 

How to cite: Molnár, B., Weidinger, T., and Tasnádi, P.: Fog formation, smog situations and air quality in high school physics education, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-261,, 2021.


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