SCHOOL: THE NASA CERES SCOOL PROJECT EXSAMPLE
Elena Arabini, NASA
contractor through Analitical Services & Materials, assigned to
Atmospheric Science Div., Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (USA)
Luca Lombroso, SMI member at Geophysical Observatory, University of
Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena (Italy).
15.01.2004 - Students' Cloud
Observations On-Line, S’COOL is a hands-on project that involves schools
of every grade in collaborative research on Earth’s climate with NASA
scientists to create learning opportunities and to educate inquisitive
basic weather observations (ground truth) and record the type,
amount, and features of clouds in the sky at the exact time the
satellite passes over their location. The observations are used to
validate the Cloud and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES)
instrument on-board the new generation satellites TERAA, ACQUA and TRMM.
The CERES sophisticated sensors measure the heat and sunlight reaching
them when it observes clear and cloudy areas of the globe. This helps
scientists figure out where clouds act to heat and cool the surface and
how clouds are changing due to human activities on Earth. The ground
truth observations are either entered into an on-line form, e-mailed,
faxed or mailed to NASA Langley for entry into an on-line database.
Students have access to their results and the corresponding satellite
data as well as observations from other participating schools. The
on-line observations can be used as an ideal tool to teach physics,
math, geography science, computer science and in addition to learn
foreign languages, and improve with art and litterature.
compare the ground truth to CERES measurements to evaluate how well the
satellite instrument and the scientific analysis methods are performing.
When patterns of disagreement are found, they can lead to improvements
in the analysis methods.
will receive educational material from NASA, the satellites overpas
schedules and detailed intructions on how to make the observations and
send the results to NASA. Science learning kits will also be available
for participants. There is no cost involved!
project identifies the U.S. national standards for science, math, and
geography that are most relevant to S’COOL at each grade level. On the
web site, the experiences of the teachers with S’COOL are reported
together with effective procedures that they have found through
implementation in their classrooms.
In Modena, a
medium size town in the north of Italy, S’COOL has been promoted thanks
to a collaboration with the City Council that, through the “Educational
Itineraries Service” coordinated with the Italian Meteorology
Society and the Geophysical Observatory at the University of Modena and
Reggio Emilia, provided extra support to the teachers. The City Council
has listed the project as one of the Science and Technology Itineraries
suggested to the schools of the town and the province. In addition,
involving the Geophysical Observatory through Luca Lombroso, who is also
member of the Italian Meteorological Society, the City Council has
organized training courses for the teachers, provided extra educational
material and the SMI clouds poster. The City Council operated in strict
contact with NASA through Dr. Elena Arabini who is responsible for the
Italian schools coordination.
Italy schools are really interested in meteorology and climate studies
but unfortunately the Intitutions and the Research Centers are not yet
active enough with science comunication.
Among the other
interests of the Italian Meteorology Society, the educational activities
play a dominant role and S’COOL can represent an ideal mean to improve
the atmospheric science comunication and to develop other educational
projects with the collaboration of the Research Center and the
For further information about th S’COOL project:
The CERES S'COOL Project
Mail stop 420
NASA Langley Research Center
Hamplon VA 23681 - 5682
FAX 1 (757) 864 - 7996
Link for further
The CERES instrument
NASA Langley Reaserch
Modena City Council –
Educational Itineraries Service
The Modena City Council’s Science and
The Geophysical Osservatory at the
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia