Workshop Program

This workshop has already taken place. You may download the PowerPoint files, watch the screencasts or read the chat sessions from the workshop.

Pre-workshop preparation:

Participants explore resources currently available on SERC and at other sites. Check out the collections of activities in Past Workshops on Teaching Climate change, Teaching with Visualizations, and Data, Simulations, and Models, to get an idea of the types of activities others are using, and the types of things you might want to consider in developing an activity.

Take some time to introduce yourself on the Threaded Discussion Forum. In what courses do you teach climate change? What approaches are you using? What do you expect from this workshop? You may also contribute any teaching activities you have already developed, or any articles or websites that you think will be helpful in teaching climate change.

We will use this page to post presentations, abridged chat transcripts, and other workshop materials as the workshop progresses.

Jump down to: Friday | Weekend Work | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

Day 1: Thursday, October 21

8:30 Pacific | 9:30 Mountain | 10:30 Central | 11:30 Eastern: Opening Session (2 hrs)

Introduction to the workshop and to climate science - Watch the Screencast (MP4 Video 141.6MB Aug2 17)
Threaded discussion: What are the greatest challenges in teaching climate change? What is important for students to know about models?

What type of course will you be using climate data and models in?

  • Mea Cook: Undergrad non-major class
  • Laura Triplett: 200-level geo/Env Studies course
  • Susan Kaspari: upper level undergrad; grad level
  • Achim Herrmann: undergraduate honors science seminar
  • Dawn Cardace: 300level, mix of majors and nonmajors and also teachers in training
  • Chris Sinton: undergrad 200 level env studies
  • Mark Horrell: Meteorology 200 level
  • Cindy Shellito: Undergrad intro and advanced levels
  • Suzanne Pierce: Graduate level Energy earth resources
  • Liz Gordon: Undergrad non-major and sophomore level majors
  • Kristine DeLong: undergrad and grad paleoclimate
  • Maisa : undergrad non-major eng. students and undergrad major in geosciences

What aspects of teaching with climate data and models do you find most beneficial, interesting, and exciting?

  • Dawn Cardace: timeliness of all climate change research, and also the immediate engagement in real data
  • Karin Kirk: engaging students in real-world science
  • Suzanne Pierce: They can help show complex systems behavior and relevance to policy for resource management (scenario development)
  • Mark Horrell: Students learning to use real data and then test ideas
  • Laura Triplett: So much of current research is based on or refers to models, I think students should have some first-hand experience
  • Maisa: it's more applied
  • Kristine DeLong: let students make their own conclusions
  • Liz Gordon: relevance; application
  • Mea Cook: Shows students how we know about past climate and how projections of future climate are developed.
  • Chris Sinton: most students are not familar with climate models - important to know how they work

What aspects of teaching with climate data and models do you find the most confusing or worrisome?

  • Suzanne Pierce: I don't know which datasets to use - have little experience with climate
  • Karin Kirk: personally, I'm not terribly experienced with them
  • Mea Cook: Helping the students understand uncertainty
  • Achim Herrmann: that students claim that they are freaked out by math
  • Laura Triplett: I've never used models myself!
  • Kristine DeLong: Computers in the classroom and limited resources
  • Mark Horrell: Students don't understand the math needed, nor the physics
  • Dawn Cardace: i am most concerned with conveying the controlling features of the models, first principles
  • Susan Kaspari: comfortable with climate data- I don't have much background with models
  • Chris Sinton: could be too dense to create an effective lesson
  • Liz Gordon: Students have math phobia that prevents them from engaging

Jerry Meehl Presentation:

  • Mea Cook: What resolution (in km) is the T42 illustrated?
  • Cindy Shellito: I think T42 is about 250km...
  • Suzanne Pierce: What parameters are being changed with each simulation run?
  • Mea Cook: Is the future simulation for the 2090s?
  • Maisa: probably just the initial conditions.
  • Suzanne Pierce: Thanks Maisa - initial conditions shifted across the probability distribution for each parameter?
  • Maisa: ...I imagine the simulations are just started at different dif atmospheric conditions
  • Mark Horrell: How far out are these projections?
  • Maisa: I believe I saw 2080-2099, but prob a mix of "end of century" periods are presented

12:00 Pacific | 1:00 Mountain | 2:00 Central | 3:00 Eastern: Teaching with Climate Models (1 hr)

Teaching with climate models Watch the Screencast (MP4 Video 51.9MB Aug2 17)

Talk: Bob MacKay, Clark College - Introducing students to climate models (PowerPoint 740kB Oct20 10)

Bob MacKay Presentation

  • Mea Cook: Are the models that Dr MacKay talked about freely accessible?
  • Monica Bruckner: Yes
  • Monica Bruckner: I've linked Bob's links in the Program page:
  • Karin Kirk: Plus, some are in his activity pages, posted in the collection on the cutting edge website

Threaded discussion: What are the best ways to introduce students to models and help them overcome resistance or disinterest? How do we keep them from being overwhelmed?

Afternoon, on your own: Work on the activity you submitted prior to the workshop to identify a title and goals. Consider how you will assess your activity, and make changes to your activity sheet.

After this afternoon's session, please complete the Thursday roadcheck by 5pm Central.

Day 2: Friday, October 22

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8:00 Pacific | 9:00 Mountain | 10:00 Central | 11:00 Eastern: Teaching with Numerical Models (2 hrs)

Teaching examples and pedagogy - Watch the Screencast (MP4 Video 141.6MB Aug2 17)

10:00 Pacific | 11:00 Mountain | 12:00 Central | 1:00 Eastern (2 hrs)

Break and opportunity to explore/investigate models introduced by speakers - or others - available online. Post at least one idea on the discussion thread regarding how you might modify your activity idea or assessment.

12:00 Pacific| 1:00 Mountain | 2:00 Central | 3:00 Eastern (1 hour)

Talk: Developing activities and assessments (PowerPoint 419kB Oct22 10) - Things to keep in mind - Watch the Screencast (MP4 Video 65.8MB Aug2 17)

  • Metacognition - (students think about how they think and learn) the what, why, and how to use this in class, including activity examples
  • Affective Domain - (considering student feelings, attitudes, motivations, values, etc.) the what, why, and how to use this in class, including activity examples
  • Scaffolding - building students up to big ideas
  • Activity design with PDF rubric available under "Tools" heading

Small groups for activity review

Threaded discussion: What might be some key strategies for assessing model or data use in the classroom? Also: Q/A and opportunities for feedback on initial ideas


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Homework: Revise your activity based on what you've learned at the workshop. Complete revisions by Monday morning (10am Central).

Review activities contributed by participants in your small group.

Discussion: Start new discussion threads to address questions you may have regarding science, resources, or instructional strategies.

Day 3: Monday, October 25

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Upload drafts of activities for review by 10am Central.

8:30 Pacific | 9:30 Mountain | 10:30 Central | 11:30 Eastern: Activity review (1 hr)

Individual work: Review of activities/assessments (work individually to review work of other members in your group, then answer review questions)

9:30 Pacific | 10:30 Mountain | 11:30 Central | 12:30 Eastern: Small group discussion (1 hr)

Synchronous session with small group: Meet in small groups to discuss your thoughts on the activities you reviewed with the authors of the work (see activity review groups - call into the number/access code for your small group listed on the activity review group page).

10:30 Pacific | 11:30 Mountain | 12:30 Central | 1:30 Eastern: Assessing our teaching (1 hr)

Synchronous session: Talk/synchronous discussion - Activity Assessment and Conducting Classroom Research (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 314kB Oct25 10) - How do we do research on our own teaching? How do we assess effectiveness of our activities? - Watch the Screencast (MP4 Video 55.2MB Aug2 17)

Higher order thinking goals involve...:

  • Maisa: integration
  • Cristina Archer: Interpretation
  • Liz Gordon: synthesis
  • Susan Kaspari: sythesize
  • Chris Sinton: synthesize
  • Ben Laabs: Synthesizing concepts or data
  • Laura Triplett: speculate
  • Kristine DeLong: evaluate
  • Dawn Cardace: transcendent themes, application of concepts across content and
  • Dawn Cardace: new situations
  • Dawn Cardace: how students perform dealing with new data

Other comments:

Afternoon individual work: Revision of activities/assessments

Threaded discussion topics:

  • Thoughts on assessment - What are some key challenges or strategies for assessing the use of climate models or data in the classroom?

  • Teaching about nature of science and system complexity - How can climate models help us teach about the scientific process or the nature of science? How can we best utilize visualizations to support students' understanding of climate system complexity?

After the afternoon session, please complete the Monday roadcheck evaluation by 5pm Central time.

Day 4: Tuesday, October 26

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10:00 Pacific | 11:00 Mountain | 12:00 Central | 1:00 Eastern

Synchronous session: Group Discussion - Opportunity for reflection: What have you learned? What do we still need to work on, as a group, in developing or utilizing materials to promote understanding of models and climate change? See discussion summary

Individual work: Participants revise activities and work on assessments - post all finalized materials by 12pm (Central) Wednesday morning. Cite places where you may particularly want feedback on your activity sheet.

Day 5: Wednesday, October 27

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10:00 Pacific | 11:00 Mountain | 12:00 Central | 1:00 Eastern (1.5 hrs)

Synchronous session: Meet as a whole group to get instructions for gallery walk.

Individual work:
Gallery walk of activities -- use the discussion thread on the bottom of each activity to make comments or suggestions for each participant's activity. (Keep in mind that you will have ~1 hr. for 16 activities.) You can find links to all activities on the Participants page.

11:30 Pacific | 12:30 Mountain | 1:30 Central | 2:30 Eastern (0.5 hr)

Synchronous session: Meet as a small group for wrap up and next steps.

Please complete the End of Workshop Evaluation by Friday, October 29.