AMS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES: INCREASING SCIENTIFIC LITERACY FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE
During the fall and spring semesters, AMS, in partnership with NOAA, NASA, and SUNY Brockport, offers DataStreme Atmosphere, Ocean, and Earth’s Climate System. These courses are delivered to small groups of K-12 teachers through Local Implementation Teams (LITs) throughout the U.S. The three-member LITs are typically composed of an AMS-trained teacher leader, college faculty member, and operational scientist. Each team recruits about eight teachers per semester and then mentors participants through the course. Emphasis is given to recruiting pre-college teachers who are members of minority groups and/or teach at schools with a 25% or greater minority student population.
The courses use current, real-world environmental data to investigate the atmosphere, ocean, and climate system and consist of weekly online study materials (twice-weekly for DataStreme Atmosphere), weekly mentoring, and several face-to-face meetings, all supplemented by a provided textbook and investigations manual. Upon completion of each course, teachers receive three free graduate credits from SUNY Brockport.
With the additional partnerships of NSF, the NWS, and the U.S. Navy, AMS also runs two, two-week long, summer residence workshops, Project Atmosphere on the fundamentals of meteorology and the Maury Project on physical oceanography. The intensive two-week workshops include lectures, tutorials, seminars, hands-on laboratory exercises, and field trips. The workshops are intended to introduce teachers to the latest technologies and explore and suggest ways in which the products of these technologies and techniques can be employed in their classrooms. Alumni of both workshops are also required to peer-train teachers in their local communities and at various conferences using topic modules provided by AMS. They also assist in offering DataStreme courses.
AMS precollege programs have trained almost 18,000 teachers, in turn reaching more than one million students.