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Teaching Weather and Climate Using Laboratory Experiments

Hosted at the University of Chicago, June 18-20, Co-sponsored by the MCMS

Weather and Climate are a subject that everyone can relate to, and with a growing concern over a human-induced climate change, they continue to attract a large number of students, both science majors and non-majors. Teaching weather and climate can be challenging, because it is an applied science, and many students do not have formal training in physics, math, and chemistry that underlie the subject. To cover the fundamental principles with sufficient depth often leaves little time for discussing the observed facts; focusing only on observation and pretty pictures can undermine the reasoning behind predictions.

Many of us facing this dilemma seem to agree, however, that the students respond very positively to artfully designed laboratory demonstrations, regardless of their skill levels in math and physics. Students so used to computer-generated simulations often find it refreshing to observe phenomena (or their analogs) in the "real" environment. The experiments can be introduced at many different levels of sophistication and scale and do not always require engineering mastery or massive investment. We are organizing a 2-1/2 day workshop at the University of Chicago to share our knowledge and experiences in this pedagogical tool, and invite anyone interested in using the laboratory approach in teaching the subject. It will be also an excellent opportunity to interact with internationally acclaimed atmospheric and oceanic scientists on our participants list to learn about current research in the field.

For more information, visit

We are accepting the online registration.

There are some travel funds set aside for the participants from the MCMS member institutions. If you would like to apply for the travel assistance, please indicate the MCMS membership in the communication to the organizers.