Introduction

The ‘Weather in a Tank’ project was funded by NSF to develop curricula materials that combine atmospheric and oceanic data and laboratory fluid experiments in the teaching of meteorology, oceanography and climate at undergraduate level.

Phase I of the project was based at MIT and methodologies were explored in support of laboratory-based teaching of rotating fluid dynamics to sophomores, juniors and seniors.

In Phase 2 MIT partnered with the following 5 universities: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, The Johns Hopkins University, Millersville University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. This wider group exchanged and explored ideas and methodologies in laboratory-based teaching, engaging professors and students at those universities, including appropriate training. This not only incorporated evaluation elements of Phase 1, but expanding them to specifically determine whether the approach was successful pedagogy and, if so, whether it could be broadly sustained and so benefit a wide community.

A detailed evaluation plan was followed to quantify implementation, pedagogy and dissemination/sustainability.

The following articles describe the Weather in a Tank project and its evaluation

Illari et al. (2009): “WEATHER IN A TANK”— Exploiting Laboratory Experiments in the Teaching of Meteorology, Oceanography, and Climate. Bulletin of the American Metoerological Society.

Mackin et al. (2012): The Effectiveness of Rotating Tank Experiments in Teaching Undergraduate Courses in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate Sciences. Journal of Geoscience Education.