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Precollege Teacher Enhancement and Leadership Training
Providing Online Distance Learning Opportunities in

DataStreme Earth's Climate System (ECS) Science Education

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Who can participate in DS-ECS?

How is the DataStreme ECS course conducted?

What equipment do I need for DataStreme ECS?

What will I need to do if I am selected for the DataStreme ECS course?

What does DataStreme ECS do for me?

What materials does DataStreme ECS supply?

What must I do after the DataStreme ECS course?

How do I apply for DataStreme ECS?

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DataStreme ECS has major support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to conduct a Teacher Enhancement Project with a strong leadership component. An innovative Internet-based distance-learning course directed towards middle-school teachers, but open to all K-12 teachers, has been developed and is being implemented nationwide. The course, DataStreme Earth's Climate System (ECS), incorporates inquiry-based instructional strategies and a holistic concept of Earth from oceanic, atmospheric and terrestrial climate and problem-focused perspectives. It is designed after the other highly successful DataStreme distance-learning courses.

The ECS course is the initial step in the training of ECS Resource Teachers is their participation in the ECS distance-learning course. The 13-week course is offered twice a year to selected participants. It investigates the mass and energy flows associated with the global climate system, and with related issues through the use of electronically transmitted environmental data and learning materials combined with Text readings and Investigations Manual activities and Current Climate Studies online investigations. Teachers will become their school's representative as part of a major national science education program conducted by the American Meteorological Society.

Who can participate in DS-ECS?
The course is directed towards middle-school teachers, but open to all K-12 teachers, who live in an area served by a LIT. Teachers of any subject who have an interest in promoting the teaching of Earth Science across the curriculum may apply. Applications are sought from persons who can demonstrate potential for leadership as resource teachers. They must be willing to act as resource persons for other teachers and as advocates for promoting the use of electronically-delivered environmental data in schools.

Teachers who are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, or teachers who are teaching in schools with large numbers of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, are especially urged to apply.

How is the DataStreme ECS course conducted?
DataStreme ECS operates through the combined efforts of literally hundreds of people working together to provide a unique enhancement opportunity for K-12 teachers.

The DataStreme ECS course is offered through DataStreme ECS Local Implementation Teams (LITs) that are located around the country. LITs, typically composed of three members, coordinate the selection and delivery of the course to approximately eight teacher participants each semester. Each team advertises the local course availability, recruits and selects participants, arranges and holds local meetings, individually mentors participants on course understandings and activities, provides participant evaluations, and assists in developing Resource Teacher action plans. Each LIT is composed of at least one master precollege teacher and most include one professional meteorologist, hydrologist, oceanographer or environmental scientist.

DataStreme Central, located at the AMS Education Office, is a team that develops instructional materials, provides logistical support to the LITs, conducts the credit-bearing course in which most DataStreme ECS participants enroll, and administers the overall project.

What equipment do I need for DataStreme ECS?
You will need a PC or Mac computer, printer, and an Internet connection with browsing capability (such as Microsoft Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Opera software). If you are reading this on-screen with your own equipment and you can print it out, you are essentially ready for DataStreme ECS participation. Access to a facsimile machine for transmitting and receiving materials between you and your LIT mentor may be helpful.

What will I need to do if I am selected for the DataStreme ECS course?

  • Attend the three scheduled course meetings arranged by the LIT in your area.
  • Follow climate science on a national scale via DataStreme ECS delivery of real-time information throughout the course.
  • Successfully complete one learning activity with electronically-delivered components each week. 
  • Complete assigned readings from a textbook and Investigations Manual and weekly progress reports.
  • Transmit completed activities and progress report to your assigned LIT mentor on a weekly schedule.
  • Interact regularly with your LIT mentor by telephone or email to discuss course progress.
  • Document several examples of in-school applications of DataStreme ECS course products.
  • Develop plans for becoming an Earth System Education Resource Teacher.
  • Submit for review and evaluation a complete portfolio (archive) of course work at the final group meeting of the course.

What does DataStreme ECS do for me?
You will be prepared to act as your school's climate education resource person. By successfully completing the DataStreme ECS course, you will:

  • Learn climate science fundamentals via a unique electronically delivered distance-learning course that emphasizes the study of climatology as it happens.
  • Become your school's representative as part of a major national science education program conducted by the American Meteorological Society in close cooperation with NASA.
  • Develop computer-based real-time environmental information acquisition and analysis skills.
  • Receive resource and reference materials for your professional library.  Discover ways to instill the excitement of current real-world science events across the precollege curriculum.
  • Develop collegial working relationships with DataStreme ECS, LIT members, and other course participants.

All participants are enrolled in a 3 semester-hour graduate course, entitled ESC 677 Real-Time Climate Studies, through the State University of New York College at Brockport. Credit is awarded upon successfully completing course requirements the same semester as the course is taken.

What materials does DataStreme ECS supply?

  • DataStreme ECS textbook and Investigations Manual
  • Electronically-delivered daily climate summaries and learning materials based on current climate events.
  • Continuously updated current weather information via the DataStreme ECS website

What must I do after the DataStreme ECS course?
The goal of DataStreme ECS is to empower Climate Education Resource Teachers with the knowledge and capabilities to transform a virtually endless stream of environmental data into exciting and creative learning experiences for young people. As an ECS Education Resource Teacher, you will be expected to introduce other teachers and administrators in your school, parents, and members of the community to the benefits of utilizing electronically-delivered environmental data streams as vehicles for learning across the curriculum.

DataStreme ECS expects to develop a long-term working relationship with DataStreme ECS course participants. The goal is to upgrade scientific literacy by motivating teachers and through them, their students, to develop and nurture active interests in science, mathematics, and technology.

How do I apply for DataStreme ECS?

If there is no LIT listed near you or in your state, inquiries may be sent to find out about joining a LIT outside your area by email to: You will be notified of the status of your application by the local LIT leader. Enrollment is limited and selection is based on a number of criteria.

NASA and NSF support DataStreme ECS. The State University of New York at Brockport, NY awards graduate-level academic credit for DataStreme ECS. The AMS provides financial support for the program and encourages its membership to take part as LIT members.

DataStreme ECS is primarily funded by NASA. NSF supports the ECS Geoscience Education Project

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American Meteorological Society Last updated 10-18-2011