I am a senior educator at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, where I provide professional development for 3rd-8th grade teachers in multiple areas of science and NGSS 3D alignment, and a former university professor of atmospheric sciences. I taught undergraduate introductory meteorology for many years, as well as numerous professional development courses for K-12 teachers in Washington and California. I taught weather and climate units in K-12 and adult education for over 15 years, from one-day lessons to full-blown year-long classes. I have developed my own Science of Weather curriculum and implemented it in the classroom with support from the National Science Foundation. I collaborated with the College of Education at the University of Washington, the Center for Inquiry Science, colleagues, graduate students, and many, many teachers to make my curriculum sound and ambitious. The result is a set of worksheets and teaching notes that have been published, and are available in print. However, for ease of distribution and fast dissemination, I am now making them available in digital format. Each series contains the original worksheets with the corresponding teaching notes. Additional information is available at www.scienceofweather.org
I teach from the ground up, with an approach that is best described as constructivist, although I make cognitive jumps when I need to. The science of weather and climate is really a lot of physics, and I first take my students through the physics of air and gases, heat and conduction, radiation, pressure, buoyancy, and water, before attacking the atmosphere, temperature and temperature maps, greenhouse effect and global warming, winds and storms, and finally clouds, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. I take my students from the detail to the global, and from the simple causes and effects to the systemic. I believe that, even though some of those concepts are challenging, anybody can master them if approached well. That is what I have been striving to develop over the last 15 years: lessons and methods that are realistic in their implementation, but ambitious in scope.
I award myself a good cup of coffee every now and then, and I have had the honor to work with many incredible teachers :)
I am a former professor of atmospheric science at the University of Washington, Seattle. I earned a Master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate in atmospheric science from the University of Washington, Seattle.
I was an active researcher funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and I very much enjoy bringing the excitement of current research to the classroom.