NOAA's SOS at National Science Teachers Association National Conference

The National Science Teachers Association National Conference was held this year in Chicago, Illinois during the second week of March and educators from around the globe were in attendance offering unique sessions for teachers. In attendance and participating in sessions was NOAA Science On a Sphere® (SOS) Education Specialist, Hilary Peddicord, from the Earth System Research Laboratory’s Global Systems Division (ESRL/GSD).

Each year NOAA has a prominent exhibit, easily identified by a large spinning mobile hanging from the ceiling announcing NOAA’s line offices. NOAA’s exhibit also has a wealth of resources for teachers. This year, the booth included SOS’s new flat-screen classroom application, SOS Explorer™.

SOS Explorer™ is an effort by ESRL/GSD/Advanced Technology and Outreach Branch/Exploratory Visualization and Outreach Section to bridge the gap between SOS Systems, which are typically found only in museums and science centers, and classroom teachers. With the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards comes a whole host of standards that urge teachers to practice science discourse and teach students how to construct explanations based on evidence of changes in the Earth’s systems.

Ms. Peddicord offered sessions for the Natural Resources, Natural Partnerships conference theme entitled, “Don’t Tell, Let Them Inquire: Teaching Climate Science Through Data” co-taught with Dr. Deborah Morrison of the University of Colorado’s Learn More About Climate, and “NOAA SOS: Earth and Space Science Data Visualizations in the Classroom,” co-taught with Eric Hackathorn, part of the SOS Explorer™ development team.

Teachers often express concern of difficulty in finding appropriate resources for up-to-date data, especially regarding climate change, and repositories for lessons and supplementary materials. Science On a Sphere® global visualizations display a massive amount of data and information, allowing students and teachers to rapidly digest important global trends like the decline of Arctic sea ice and the increase in global surface temperatures.

SOS Explorer™ is still in development and is set to be released in the fall of 2015. Our hope is that teachers from around the globe will take advantage of the wealth of data and information that SOS Explorer™ will provide, including datasets from nearly all of the NOAA line offices and from NOAA’s partners.

Contact information:
Hilary Peddicord