STEAM learning happens every day - whether you realize it or not. It allows us to explore five subject areas: science; technology; engineering; arts and math.
A topic that falls under a number of these subject areas is weather. From choosing an outfit first thing in the morning to deciding whether or not to play inside the house or outside in the backyard, weather plays an important role in our lives.
With help from our friends at the National Weather Service - Columbia, SC, here are some virtual resources to learn more about the atmospheric conditions that surround us.
Owlie Skywarn - Geared toward children and teens, learn science and safety with Owlie Skywarn. There are four areas of focus: fun with Owlie, Weather Science, Weather Safety and Careers (in meteorology). Here are some of the games, activities and experiments that peaked our interest:
- The Young Meteorologist Program - Follow Owlie Skywarn through hurricanes, floods, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and winter storms to learn about these weather hazards and how to stay safe and become a Young Meteorologist.
- Smithsonian’s Weather Lab - Experiment with different air masses and the type of weather they create.
- The Clouds Outside My Window! - Go through a picture book on clouds, created by a National Weather Service Meteorologist, with a template to make your own.
- Red Cross Monsterguard App - Learn what to do in a weather emergency with these monsters.
- Disney’s Mickey and Friends Disaster Preparedness Activity Book - Follow Mickey and his friends as they get ready for severe weather. It's also available in Spanish.
- Masters of Disaster - Play this game and build an emergency kit for your home.
Jetstream - Geared toward teens and adults, this online school for weather offers lessons and covers more than a dozen small-scale and large-scale topics:
- The Atmosphere
- The Ocean
- Global Weather
- The Upper Air
- Upper Air Charts
- Synoptic Meteorology
- Tropical Weather
- Doppler Radar
- The National Weather Service
MetEd - Geared toward teens and adults, this free collection, containing hundreds of training resources, offers some great 101 courses. If you're interested in weather, here are two courses, in particular, that caught our eyes:
- Met 101: Basic Weather Processes - This lesson provides an overview of basic weather processes, beginning with how the distribution of incoming solar energy helps to establish Earth’s atmospheric circulations. Learners will gain an understanding of the differences between weather and climate and how Earth’s winds tend to have dominant patterns determined by region. An introduction to atmospheric stability, clouds, precipitation processes, and thunderstorm characteristics is also included, along with an introduction to weather impacts affecting aviation operations.
- SKYWARN® Spotter Training - This course covers the basics of being a SKYWARN Spotter. The goal of the course is to provide baseline training for all spotters through multiple modules covering the procedures for spotting (including communication and spotter report criteria) and safety considerations for all hazards. Be aware that many National Weather Service (NWS) offices require training in addition to this online course.
For a comprehensive list of other educational resources that are available through the National Weather Service, click here.