Weather and Climate
Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere, while climatology is the study of long term averages that dictate our global climate. We introduce students to meteorological concepts, such as atmospheric pressure, warm/cold fronts, and the science of extreme weather events through hands-on, field based experiments. Our instructors transform challenging concepts into tangible, exciting opportunities for discovery. The Keystone Science School is situated in an ideal location for weather and climate exploration. Our landscape in the heart of the Rocky Mountains provides a unique classroom to explore the connections between weather, climate, landforms and ecology. By visiting rare, fragile alpine habitat zones, we introduce students to the importance of stewardship and the threats posed to this biome by climate change. In our research-focused programs, students collaborate with peers to discover a unique research question and use our field-based tool kits, which include kestrels, barometers, UV thermometers, altimeters, wind/wind chill gauges, and humidity/dew point gauges to carry out in-field research. Students will also explore our live-feed weather station to test their understanding of weather terms and prepare for their field day in the High Rockies!
Teachers can prioritize the following content areas:
- Mountain Weather Patterns
- Extreme Weather
- Climate Science
- The Water Cycle
- Earth’s Seasons and Cycles
Students learn about the scientific method through a weather research project. Students will use a variety of tools on-trail to quantify changes in the atmosphere. Students will design their group’s research question around concepts such as the differential heating of landforms, the role of topography and elevation on weather trends, the importance of the water cycle to weather systems, or the importance of climate trends to our local flora and fauna. Our instructors tailor the group’s travel itinerary to effectively gather data and visit engaging, unique locations for student inquiry.