Today's Forecast: Higher Thinking With a Chance of Conceptual Growth



Weather has all the characteristics of a motivating, authentic subject: Everybody has an interest in it and strong opinions about it. This interest has provided a way to tie science to a meaningful learning activity in an introductory meteorology course for nonscience students. The pedagogical foundation of such a course is that it is more important for students in science classes to learn to think like scientists than to accumulate facts; weather forecasting allows them to progressively apply their knowledge about the atmosphere by hypothesizing the next day's weather. By forecasting tomorrow's weather repeatedly throughout the course, students are given the opportunity to link what they are learning in class to a topic to which they all relate.