University of Vermont

Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC)

What is SWAC?

The Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC) project brings together the University of Vermont (UVM), Lyndon State College and the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in an innovative professional development program for in-service K-12 science and mathematics teachers. It aims to stimulate interest in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines and careers and produce climate literacy for all. SWAC uses a model of inquiry and project-based learning to enhance teachers' in-school-time (IST) science and classroom experiences. Teachers participate in a sumemr institute to develop knowledge and skills in specific STEM content areas (climatology, meteorology, electrical engineering) and geospatial technologies including remote sensing, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), and GPS (Global Positioning Systems) in order to enhance and inform their pedagogy. Teachers then engage in follow up content and technology "refresher" sessions during the school year to facilitate long-term change in the classroom. SWAC relies heavily on models of problem and project-based learning as well as the reciprocity of service-learning and involve student engagement and peer mentoring at the K-16 levels.

We have monthly meetings during the semester during which time we go in depth into some of the satellites and weather material, focusing on only one topic at a time. These monthly gatherings will allow you to work on your own module or curriculum planning and incorporate time and space for you to share your experiences with other teachers.

Participating teachers will have the chance to present their findings etc. at the NSTA, VSTA and other regional teacher conferences as well as the opportunity to write up their curriculum for publication in the online peer-reviewed journal for teachers called PUMAS.

SWAC Brochure

The Team

    Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux - Geography, UVM; VT State Climatologist, Ph.D
    Regina Toolin - College of Education & Social Services, UVM, Ph.D
    Steve Hogan - Vermont State Climate Office, UVM
    Mike Fortney - IBM, UVM
    Jennifer Pontius - RSENR, UVM, Ph.D
    Bruce Berryman - Atmospheric Sciences, LSC, Ph.D
    Jason Shafer - Atmospheric Sciences, LSC, Ph.D
    Janel Hanrahan - Atmospheric Sciences, LSC, Ph.D
    Steve Maleski - Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium
    Mark Breen - Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium
    Gail Hall - VT Agency of Education



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Last modified June 02 2015 06:45 PM