NORTHWEST WEATHER WATCH
Teacher Guide: Introduction to Module
The module is introduced by an account of the Mount Hood Disaster in
which a group of high school students on a field
trip (wilderness excursion) in the spring of 1986 encountered
a sudden blizzard and subsequent tragedy while making an
ascent. The central question which haunted parents, teachers,
and expedition leaders was whether the tragedy could have
been avoided. Could the "sudden" severe weather have been
I chose this historical event to introduce the module for the
The module is meant to flow over a period of several months
beginning in the fall to take advantage of the dramatically changing
weather systems (and cloud activity) which takes
place during the fall and winter seasons. Each student should keep a
journal which will contain their weather observations and
definitions of terms which are assigned as a part of this module's activities.
- It clearly and dramatically establishes a purpose
for the observation and prediction of weather
conditions (motivational factor).
- It is distinctly relevant to students in the Northwest who
engage in a variety of wilderness activities - such as hiking,
climbing, cross-country skiing, and back-packing.
- It will heighten their own awareness
of weather and safety factors (preparedness)
in planning and executing outdoor activities.
Many of the activities this module contain online worksheets
that can be directly filled out by the students. Each worksheet has a
box to fill in for the teacher email address and for a student name. If the
teacher address is your valid email address, you will be sent a copy
of the responses when the "submit" button is pressed by the student.
You should instruct students to use an alias (e.g. GROUP 1)
instead of any student's name. We will not post any responses to the
Web containing student's names but would like to post some of their responses.