Note: This workshop has already taken place.

Workshop Overview

This workshop focuses on the utility of numerical models in past, present, and future climate change research, and their potential role in teaching students about the climate system. Simple numerical models that are available online, as well as vast quantities of numerical output available in professionally collected databases offer teachers and students endless opportunities for data-rich instructional activities. This workshop is designed as a follow-on workshop to other Cutting Edge workshops with themes that focus on using data and visualization, teaching climate change, and introducing students to complex systems. The workshop is geared toward faculty who would like to enhance their teaching about the climate system and climate dynamics by incorporating numerical models and model output data. The online format will require the use of synchronous and asynchronous communication using phone, email, and web-based communication, including discussion boards, web-conferencing, and collaborative editing tools.

Workshop goals:

  • Explore the evolving role of climate models in climate change research
  • Consider how climate models and model output can be used to effectively inform teaching of climate change (at all levels)
  • Help participants become aware of data-rich resources for teaching climate change
  • Develop and share strategies, activities, and assessments for incorporating climate models and professional collected databases of climate model results in the classroom
  • Create (or share) examples of activities or assessment plans for the Cutting Edge website


The workshop will take place October 21-22 and 25-27, 2010. As this is an online workshop, there is no face-to-face component. The workshop will consist of synchronous and asynchronous components. The sessions on October 21-22 (Thursday and Friday) will introduce participants to models and resources, and showcase examples of instructional strategies. Participants will also have an introduction to assessment and action research. The sessions on October 25-27 will include discussion of climate change teaching strategies, as well as allow participants to review and showcase new materials.


The primary goal of this workshop is to support participants in the development and refinement of classroom activities that utilize numerical models and or model output data to promote understanding of climate change. Thus, participants are expected to:

  • Explore existing SERC classroom resources and familiarize themselves with the workshop website prior to the workshop.
  • Prior to the workshop, submit a teaching activity or an activity draft focused on utilizing models to teach climate change. Submitted materials will become a part of the Cutting Edge website.
  • During the workshop, design or revise a teaching activity and/or assessment and contribute this activity to the live Cutting Edge site OR adapt an existing SERC resource or activity related to climate, data, or models.
  • Develop a plan to assess effectiveness of newly developed or adopted materials
  • Contribute to pre-workshop preparations, synchronous and asynchronous workshop forum discussions, a peer review of teaching activities/assessment plans, and follow-up activities
  • Contribute a resource (optional, but encouraged).
To fully participate in the workshop, we recommend that you set aside ~4 hours a day on each of the four days with scheduled workshop activities. You may also need a few hours on the weekend to develop and post your activity/assessment. We suggest you rearrange your schedule to attend as many of the synchronous sessions as possible.


There is a $50 workshop fee, payable with workshop registration. This fee is non-refundable.

Application and Registration:

Note: this workshop has already taken place. The Application/Registration form must be submitted by October 1, 2010. The workshop size is limited to the first 30 participants who register. Participants will required to submit a classroom activity or a draft of an activity by October 17, 2010. For more information visit the general information for workshop participants page.

For More Information

Please contact Cindy Shellito,