"WRITING UP A STORM" AND THE WRITE-STORM MAIL LIST
One high point of every PTK Module has been our online collaborative activities, such as "THE GREAT PLANET DEBATE" during LIVE FROM THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE, THE "PLANET EXPLORER TOOLKIT" (PET) in LIVE FROM MARS and the BACKYARD BIODIVERSITY SURVEY (BBS) during LIVE FROM THE RAINFOREST. Students could act locally (choosing how to target the Hubble, recording weather on Earth to compare with that on Mars, or surveying their localities in contrast to the Amazon) and then communicate nationally, and even internationally. Hands-on activities motivated writing and opportunities to exchange information with other students inspired careful hands-on experimentation or research.
We plan more than one such activity for PASSPORT TO WEATHER AND CLIMATE, appealing both to those for whom following severe weather online with real data, mentored by NOAA researchers, most appeals (see "FOLLOW THAT STORM!"), and for those for whom "writing across the curriculum" is desired.
Hurricanes... tornadoes... winter storms... El Niño and La Niña... no matter where you live weather and climate impact your daily existence. But we don't all experience the same type of weather at the same time of year. WRITING UP A STORM is designed to have students teaching other students, peer-to-peer, in other regions about the weather in their own area. Students on the East Coast will become experts on hurricanes and Nor'Easters for students in other parts of the country. Students along "Tornado Alley" can share tales of twisters. Students in Southern states are invited to post stories about the severe drought which has gripped their area. Residents of the West and Northwest: how has El Niño and La Niņa affected your region, with more or less rain than usual, and with more or less snow? International students are also invited to submit revealing reports about weather in their part of the world, from the islands of Japan, to the big cities of South America.
If your students were affected by Hurricane Floyd, or experienced the freakishly powerful Oklahoma City tornadoes last spring, or are farm families affected by drought, or flood-or by any other severe weather event-please share your experiences. As our project develops, we plan to facilitate student-to-student interaction focused on weather, making the WWW into the "WIDE WORLD OF WEATHER" and allowing students to learn from age-mates' experiences.
This list is moderated, and inappropriate postings will result in prompt termination of access privileges. You are invited to subscribe to the WRITE-STORM list which will support the "WRITING UP A STORM" online collaboration. Students and teachers are invited to post their stories to this list and visit the WRITE-STORM archives to see stories that have already been posted.