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Weather and Climate for Teachers
2010 Summer Teacher's Course


Weather, climate, and climate change are important topics in today's society. Many science educators are expected to teach these subjects even with no formal training in these areas. The 2010 Weather and Climate for Teachers course, sponsored by CMMAP and the Little Shop of Physics, provided necessary teaching techniques and knowledge of atmospheric science to teachers.

The intent of the course was to provide a semester's worth of college-level content on the physics of the atmosphere, weather, climate, climate change, and climate modeling as well as demonstrate activities for use in the classroom. The course was taught using the method of the Five E's, each describing a phase of learning (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate).

Teachers took home a box of science tools. Previous years' course tools have included heat packs, which show that liquids release heat when they freeze, solar cells to charge batteries, and infrared goggles to see infrared radiation outside. More importantly, participants left with the confidence and knowledge to teach their students about weather, climate, and climate change.

activities Overview and Details

Course Materials
The course materials below are organized by the theme of each class session and placed into the day they were presented.
  • Day 1 :
    • Energy & Radiation
    • Radiation and Seasons

  • Day 2 :
    • Pressure, Density, Temperature, Buoyancy
    • Phases of Water, Latent Heat, and Clouds

  • Day 3 :
    • Convection and Precipitation
    • Forces and Winds

  • Day 4 :
    • Rotation and Global Circulation
    • Fronts and Storms

  • Day 5 :
    • Climate Change and Global Warming, Impacts, Mitigation
    • Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change
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