Since the Fall Semester 2002, the Department of Physics at Prairie View A&M University has been licensed to teach the Online Weather Studies course, a science course provided by the American Meteorological Society. We have used the course materials successfully in the laboratory setting as well as components of existing courses. We will offer the course, entitled “Introduction to Atmospheric Science”, in its entirety in the Fall 2004. The link to the course homepage has plenty of information about the course:
Our offering of this course promotes the success of the AMS Online Weather Studies diversity project, which is intended to encourage more minority students to get involved in the sciences by providing access to courses such as Online Weather Studies.
The course is dynamic and flexible, able to be taught entirely within a traditional classroom setting, or entirely online as a distance learning experience. We will use a combination of both techniques, to include a laboratory experience, in the presentation of the course material. The purpose of the course is to equip the student with the knowledge and skills to not only understand and interpret the weather as reported online, in the evening news, or elsewhere, but also to provide the student with a toolkit of critical thinking skills whose usefulness will go beyond this class. These skills should prove helpful in other classes as well as in everyday life. The critical thinking exercises are couched in the weekly weather topics, and give these topics an added dimension of usefulness. In many cases, the application is made to diversity in culture and society in general and to worldviews not necessarily of the student’s own.
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