The National Science Foundation Young Scholar Program The Excitement of Meteorology successfully brought the atmospheric and related sciences to high school students in Mississippi. The four-week summer program was administered through the Jackson State University Meteorology Program in the Department of Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, and General Science and was supported by the Mississippi Science Partnership program office. This commuter program provided an opportunity to learn, study, and research the field of meteorology. Through instructional sessions, laboratories, field trips, and peer contact participants were exposed to the concepts of atmospheric motion, the development of storms, and the practical application of meteorology during a one-month period. The program was intended to help students make their own career decisions and to foster their interest in the sciences and meteorology. The goals and objectives of the program were to develop basic science skills; make participants aware of the interdisciplinary nature of meteorology; provide participants with the opportunity to see and hear the meteorologist as a researcher, teacher, and communicator; provide the information and incentive necessary for participants to choose a career in meteorology or the sciences; make participants aware of the various employment opportunities in the field; and show the moral and ethical responsibilities and importance of atmospheric science to society. Thirty sophomore and junior high school student participants (22 females and 8 males, nearly all of whom were AfricanAmerican) completed the program. All were tested on their meteorological knowledge and skills gained during the program and questioned about their field and lecture experiences. They also graded the effectiveness of all speakers, presentations, videotapes, and laboratory sessions. Through surveys it was found that the participants' desire to pursue a science career and to go to college were increased by the program. They also indicated that the program objectives had been met and that the program had met their expectations. They were particularly pleased with the opportunity to work in a college setting and with professional scientists.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: May 28, 1999
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