Conveying NOAA/ESRL Global Monitoring Division Science and Research Through Videos for Children

Friday 11:30am-1:30pm UMC Aspen Rooms
Poster Presentation Part of Science Literacy through Outreach Programs


Kelsey Tayne, NOAA/CIRES
Gabrielle Petron, NOAA/ESRL Global Monitoring Division
Pieter Tans, NOAA/ESRL
Julie Singewald, NOAA/ESRL
Ann Thorne, NOAA/ESRL
Lori Bruhwiler, NOAA/ESRL
Diane Stanitski, NOAA/ESRL
Gregory Frost, NOAA/ESRL
Jennifer Taylor, University of Colorado at Boulder
Susan Sullivan, University of Colorado at Boulder
The NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory's Global Monitoring Division (GMD) has been conducting measurements of climate forcing agents in the global atmosphere for close to four decades. We are developing a new series of short videos to explore scientific concepts related to greenhouse gases, aerosols, ozone, water vapor and solar radiation. These "Ask a Scientist" videos are tailored for children ages 10 and up and run approximately one to three minutes in length.

The purpose of the videos is to promote climate and science literacy and an understanding of the atmosphere, and its constituents and properties, while connecting children with scientists in the field of atmospheric and air quality research.

To create the videos, an educator first works with GMD scientists to create questions about their topics of study and/or expertise that are appropriate for a young audience. The educator audio records the scientists' responses to these questions and analyzes the responses for vocabulary choice, clarity and age-appropriateness. The educator and scientists then edit the responses to create a script, while attempting to maintain a sense of casual dialogue, and re-record final versions of the questions and answers.

The educator then uses whiteboard animation to illustrate, entertain and provide additional detail for the audio recordings. Animations are kept simple and friendly, for the purpose of providing children with engaging access to the scientific concepts. To facilitate use of the videos in a classroom, educators create before and after discussion questions, define vocabulary terms and pair the videos with lessons in the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Collection, which explore similar concepts. Furthermore, educators provide "discovery topics" and provide links to web-based resources so that students can continue to explore topics that arise during the videos on their own.