Africa Initiative:
EO Resources and Activities
Roberta Johnson
UCAR Director of Education and
Outreach
EO Resources
• Numerous educational resources, in the form of lesson plans
(hundreds), supporting background information, demonstrations available mainly through websites
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Project LEARN
Web Weather for Kids
Windows to the Universe
NCAR Education and Outreach Website (Educators Bridge, Kids
Crossing)
• Activities/demonstrations hands-on (cheap materials) or computerbased
• Some bilingual (English and Spanish)
• Topics spanning the Earth and space sciences
• On-line courses on Climate and Global Change/Modeling in the
Geosciences in development
• Monthly newsletter (through W2U) currently reaches ~3830 teachers
in 118 countries
Windows to the Universe Website
www.windows.ucar.edu
National Science
Foundation
• W2U reaches over 13 million
visitors per year
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3 levels of content
~65% K-12 students
46% once per week or more
NSF-supported Spanish
translation, >15,000 users per
day
– ~1.24 million visits to Teacher
Resources section in past 12
months
• In March – May 2006
– Over 4,500 visits per day in
Teacher Resources
– ~300 pages/day in
magnetism Teacher
Resources section
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Spans the Earth and space
sciences, with arts and
humanities connections
Integrated classroom activities,
interactives, and models for
users
Includes extensive background
content on Earth sciences, as
well as fundamental physics
Professional development for
~1400 teachers per year at
NSTA and other venues
Mapping Ancient Coastlines Classroom Activity
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/teacher_resources/teach_bathymetry.htm
The Climate Discovery
Teacher’s Guide
Designed for use in middle
school classrooms
Multi-lesson instructional
units include:
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Sun-Earth Connection
Investigating Climate Present:
Cycles of the Earth System
Investigating Climate Future
(Coming soon!)
Investigating Climate Past: The
Little Ice Age Case Study
All classroom activities are available online:
http://eo.ucar.edu/educators/ClimateDiscovery/
UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, www.eo.ucar.edu
Example #1:
Trees: Recorders
of Climate Change
•Students examine tree xsections to discover how
age can be determined from
rings and how ring
thickness can be used to
determine times of optimum
growing conditions.
•Then students investigate
simulated tree cores to
explore how climate varied
during the LIA.
The simulated tree cores used in this activity were
developed based on the the results of Briffa et al.
(2001) which used ring patterns of 387 trees to
interpret temperature variations over 600 years.
UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, www.eo.ucar.edu
Example #2:
Blooming
Thermometers
Students develop an understanding
of the relationship between
natural phenomena, weather,
and climate change.
Students brainstorm a list of
phenomena that change with
the seasons.
Students plot and interpret average
bloom data data from Japanese
cherry trees over the past 1100
years.
Mean bloom dates by century from Arakawa (1956)
UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, www.eo.ucar.edu
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General Science Activities and Writing in the Science Classroom
Snapshot Exercise A great activity to use on field trips or class outings - have students write a "snapshot" of their
experience.
The Scientist Project Students research a given scientist and then present interviews to the class.
Using Current Event Articles in the Science Classroom Various ideas for using current event articles in your classroom.
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The Solar System
Clay Planets Using clay models to learn about the solar system
Great Planetary Debate Students research a given body in the solar system and then defend their planet or moon in a
Great Debate!
I don't know my solar system. . .please ex-planet! An activity that leads students in researching a given planet or moon of
the solar system
Lunar Lollipops Learn the phases of the Moon!
The Magnetometer Build your own magnetometer, use this to learn about planetary magnetic fields.
Terrabagga Activity Use a homemade magnetometer instrument to learn about planetary magnetic fields.
Windows to the Universe Scavenger Hunt Questions that have students explore the Space Missions, Solar System and
Sun section of the Windows to the Universe site
A Solar System Coloring Book A ready-to-use coloring book applet!
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Back to top
Atmosphere and Weather
Create a Tornado Create a tornado in a bottle!
Create Your Own Cloud A cloud activity
Create Your Own Fog An activity on making fog
Create Your Own Lightning An activity on making lightning
Create Your Own Thermometer An activity on making a thermometer starting with a straw
Introduction to Ozone Reading Activity An article to read with an accompanying worksheet for students
Latent Heat and Clouds A hands-on exploration of latent heat and its relation to clouds...
Let's Make Oxygen Show the presence of oxygen and how to burn steel...
Make it Rain! A rain activity
Shadows... Shadows and their relationship to the time of day/season
Three Clouds Activity One demonstration and two hands-on activities - all about clouds!
Thunder and Lightning A simple activity
Watch the Sky A great activity to get your students thinking about what they see in the sky
Weather and Careers Exercise A lesson that looks at how weather affects different jobs
Weather Crossword Puzzle A reading and puzzle exercise available at three levels
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W 2 U V is its fro m A fric a n C o u n trie s - J u ly 2 0 0 5 - J u n e 2 0 0 6 , T o p 1 0
• 0.35% of visits to
W2U from Africa
T a n z a n ia , 7 8 4
T u n is ia , 7 9 1
A lg e ria , 1 2 7 0
G hana, 1547
• 13.6 million visits
from around the
world
K e n ya , 1 5 8 9
N ig e ria , 1 9 4 5
M o ro c c o , 2 5 1 6
S o u th A fric a , 1 9 5 1 7
E g yp t, 1 2 1 5 0
S o u th A frica
E g yp t
M o ro cco
N ig e ria
K e n ya
G hana
A lg e ria
T u n isia
T a n za n ia
V is its to W 2 U fro m A fric a n C o u n trie s - J u ly 2 0 0 5 - J u n e 2 0 0 6 - 1 1 -2 0
E ritre a , 1 6 9
M o z a m b iq u e , 2 8 2
M a u ritiu s , 7 4 6
C o te d 'Iv o ire , 2 9 9
Z im b a b w e , 3 1 3
E th io p ia , 6 7 7
L ib ya , 3 4 9
Sudan, 431
N a m ib ia , 5 6 2
U ganda, 490
M a u ritiu s
E th io p ia
N a m ib ia
U ganda
Sudan
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Discussions with UNESCO
• We have been in discussions with Dr. Orlando Hall Rose (Chief,
Section for Science and Technology Education, UNESCO) and Dr.
Diileep Bhagwut regarding W2U since early 2005
– Use in Latin America and other countries around the world (other
languages)
– Web resource and professional development
• Easy to use format, requiring comparatively limited training, easy to
implement activities, minimal/zero materials cost, comprehensive scope of
resources across Earth and space sciences with arts/humanities
connections
• Visit to UNESCO Paris Offices in April 2005
• Invitation to UNESCO meeting in Chile in July 2005
• Invitation to subsequent UNESCO sponsored meetings around the
world (Lesotho, Kuwait, Egypt, Cuba, Trinidad/Tobago, Kenya,
Nepal, Ethiopia, Peru)
• Parallel discussions with InterAmerican Development Bank and
partnering institutions in Latin America on web-based curriculum
development
7/4/06 – Message from Carl Katsu
from Uganda
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“I spent four days last week in a small private school in a little dusty village called Ibanda,
in the south of Uganda.”
“Electricity was unreliable, so although everyone had electric wiring in their brick, or
adobe homes, they cooked and heated water by wood fire, and lit the place up with
kerosene lanterns at night. Outside of the cities, water is hard to come by.”
“Yet getting people to keep clean is a national priority, washing hands before and after
eating and using the toilet is becoming a habit among most people.”
“The school in Ibanda … is a private high school started five years ago... It is a small
school (500 students) with very crude facilities by our standards. …most of the
schools I saw … around the country are not much better off…We talked with the
teachers, looked at the national curricula (very impressive, more rigorous than the
curricula in most school districts in the U.S.A…), taught a lesson to the 10th graders
(100 of them all in one large room), gathered the boarding students (about 180 of
them, grades 8-11) for an evening astronomy lesson, and made list of materials I
have available or can get from NASA, NOAA, USGS, etc. free of charge to send them
once I get home. There are sometimes as many as one hundred students in one
classroom, but they are taught to be well-behaved and quiet so all can here the
lesson. Correcting papers is an awesome chore for the teachers here because their
class sizes are so large. They have national end-of-term exams each student must
pass to be promoted.”
“I have come to think of Ugandans (and other third world inhabitants) as not much
different than Americans, just placed in a different setting. They have the same
awareness of the world’s problems and tensions, the same ideas and plans for
increasing their economic well-being (they just start at a much lower degree).”
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Past President, National Earth Science Teachers Association
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Africa Initiative EO Resources and Activities