Hurricane Strike!: An interactive Web-based tool to teach kids about hurricane science and safety

 

Victoria Johnson, Patrick Parrish, Dwight Owens

UCAR/COMET

Boulder, Colorado USA

 

 

The COMET Program has developed a Web-based multimedia module for middle school students that uses an engaging and immersive scenario to teach hurricane science and safety. Students participate in a week-long virtual visit at the home of the fictional Castillo family who live in Ft. Walton Beach, Fl. Just as the visit begins, the family learns that a hurricane is predicted and during the week, the student participates in various activities to learn how hurricanes develop and move. The student also “helps” the family prepare by choosing items for a disaster preparedness kit, preparing the house, and giving advice to friends and relatives. The module can be accessed directly or downloaded from COMET’s educational Website at http://meted.ucar.edu/resources_access.htm.

 

To help teachers use the product, the module includes worksheets with questions based on the science and safety content for each day. In addition, all of the educational lessons and games are available in a special section for teachers and can be accessed individually to be used as stand-alone lesson tools. We have also provided a table that correlates relevant categories of the middle school National Science Education Standards to content sections in the module, a printable Certificate of Completion, and links to other information and resources.

 

In order to meet the needs of various students, versions of the module are available for students with hearing, mobility, and vision impairments and for Spanish language students. The latter version is currently available only in text form, rather than full multimedia. A master copy of the module is also available from the Web (http://meted.ucar.edu/resources_access.htm) so that teachers can download the module and create copies of the CD to distribute to their classes.