EdGCM: Real-time Global Climate Modeling Research for the Classroomsubmitted by
Higher Order Thinking Skills:
Role of Activity in a Course:
Data, Tools and Logistics
Minimum system requirements:
Macintosh: G3 processor or better running Mac OS X 10.2 or higher, including all iMacs, eMacs, iBooks, PowerBooks and PowerMacs made after 1997.
Wintel PCs: Any computer running Windows 2000 or XP.
Evaluation Techniques: Prior to each workshop, participants will complete a pre-evaluation questionnaire focusing on their expectations. In the post-workshop assessment they will be asked to provide oral and written comments regarding whether or not their expectations were met. Also, suggestions from participants for modifications to the EdGCM application and its associated educational materials will be requested.
Our goal is to improve the quality of teaching and learning of climate-change science through broader access to GCMs and to provide appropriate technology and materials to help teachers use complex models effectively. EdGCM includes a full-scale GCM, which is still in use at NASA labs and universities. However, it also includes a broad package of user-friendly software that allows teachers to manage the GCM and its output in a manner that is appropriate for the classroom, yet similar to the way climate scientists actually work. Experiments are automatically archived in a searchable database and easy-to-use utilities for mapping, plotting, and data analysis are integrated with the climate model. In addition, EdGCM makes it easy for teachers to produce their own instructional materials including text, plots, images and even specialized simulation scenarios. It also allows teachers and students to easily report research results to the web and to exchange experiments with scientists and educators across the internet.
EdGCM will permit students to explore the fundamentals of climate science utilizing tools identical to those used in major climate research programs. Many simple climate experiments are possible (e.g. How does the sun warm the planet?), but, it is also possible to conduct in-depth investigations, in near real-time, as they are being studied by climate scientists. Examples include global warming, climates from the geologic past, and El Nino events. EdGCM comes with a variety of pre-prepared scenarios for investigating popular topics (greenhouse effect, the ice ages, climate of the dinosaurs, etc.). However, teachers can easily construct their own simulation scenarios and they can identify key variables to be made available for students to analyze. EdGCM scales for use at grade levels that range from high school to graduate school, making it a unique tool for linking research to the classroom. Our future plans involve the creation of an EdGCM Cooperative, a network of researchers and educators actively collaborating on climate research projects. Future versions of EdGCM will make the climate model accessible to middle schoolers and the general public as well.