Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Every now and again I get to produce or commission a new resource for MetLink, (www.metlink.org) our website for teachers. I try to target these to fill gaps in what is currently available. So, for a while we’ve been concentrating on producing resources which support fieldwork.
However, many teachers have told me that they struggle to find good resources for teaching monsoons, particularly at A level. So, this week I have been using data and information from a paper by Challinor et al. to produce a resource which gets students investigating whether there is a link between Indian rainfall and groundnut production.
As always, the challenge is to make a resource which is robust and not open to misinterpretation without oversimplifying things. This particular data set was brilliant, giving a clear answer which still left room for interpretation. Students should find that over 50% of the year to year variability in the harvest can be attributed to rainfall. Its been so interesting, that now I’m going to see whether I can find some daily rainfall data for stations in India, to see whether I can illustrate the spread of the monsoon rains across the continent…
The image below shows Mumbai during the monsoon
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Dr Sylvia Knight - Head of Education
It’s the beginning of the new academic year, and my Inbox is full of requests from students for information about courses, careers and work experience, and from teachers and event organisers hoping for support from our Meteorology Ambassadors. A very positive development for this year is that we are trying to offer weather and climate training to as many geography PGCE students as possible, to give them confidence to teach it when they start their teaching careers. At the moment, we’ve got days booked with 14 Universities and hope to reach a few more. We’re also developing the support we give to primary teachers by working together with the Astra Zeneca Science Teaching Trust.
However, the most technologically exciting (and therefore challenging!) project that we’re involved with is the development of 3D classroom teaching resources, the sort where the students all wear funny glasses. We’ve been working on hurricane and weather systems resources in a consortium including schools, software developers and hardware suppliers and hope that they’ll be finished very soon – then we can start using them!
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
The site is built with the open-source system Drupal and we worked with external developers on this project.
Head of IT and Technical Services
I am pleased that we have been able to complete the transition to our new website before I moved on from the Society. I has been good to see the new functionality that the site provides and the potential it has to become a very important way of delivering a range of information services to members and the wider public from the Society, not least, I hope, an active blog where members of the Headquarters team can keep people up-to-date with new and interesting news about the work of the Society.
The Society is very lucky to have such a dedicated HQ team and membership, and so I am sure that my successor will have as enjoyable and interesting time as I have had at Headquarters. Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement – and may we always be blessed with interesting weather.
Paul Hardaker Chief Executive
Monday, 2 August 2010
Last week I also chaired a meeting of the UK’s sector committee for meteorology – that’s the group who represent the practitioner community in the UK, and specifically the development of qualification standards for the profession. In includes the Society, the Royal Navy, the Met Office and the private sector. We spent our time focusing on the development of new vocational qualifications for meteorology. There is something called the Qualifications and Curriculum Framework in the UK which defines various levels of vocational qualifications and we spent our day mapping our standards into this new framework. It was very enjoyable to come together as a community to ensure all our forecasters in the UK have the opportunity to develop their skills and competencies through high-quality, independently-recognised vocational qualifications. What I am always impress by is that the members of the group, who have very busy workloads, give up their time freely and voluntarily to undertake this work for the good of the profession and its future development.