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 foreseen?

I chose this historical event to introduce the module for the following reasons:

  1. It clearly and dramatically establishes a purpose for the observation and prediction of weather conditions (motivational factor).
  2. 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.
  3. It will heighten their own awareness of weather and safety factors (preparedness) in planning and executing outdoor activities.
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.

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.

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