By Lisa Gardiner, Spark, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

UCAR Credit weather_0

I’m so glad to hear about STAR_Net and that there are so many librarians around the country that are infusing library programs with science! Thanks for all the work you do to help our communities become more science literate.

I am an educator and writer at Spark – UCAR Science Education translating the research done at the National Center for Atmospheric Research for students and the public. We create web-based educational resources (articles, games, blogs, and hands-on activities) to help people better understand weather, climate, the Sun, and the atmosphere. These are all freely available online, and I hope they can be a resource for library patrons and help you develop library programs.

For example, are you looking for a quick educational activity gets people exploring climate? If so, I’d recommend Glaciers: Then and Now. I’ve found that this activity is easy to do with all ages and with groups of different sizes. Learners compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century. They sort a stack of 16 photos into eight pairs. Each pair shows an early 20th century view of a glacier and a early 21st century view of the same glacier. The difference is striking, and this can be a good way to start a conversation about the impacts of climate change.

Visit the Spark Learning Zone where you will find a wealth of science content and other educational activities – both hands-on and online – related to atmospheric science.

Spark site image_UCAR