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Museum Education in Atmospheric and Oceanic Hazards Jon M. Nese Chief Meteorologist Franklin Institute Science Museum Philadelphia, PA Science Centers & Museums Contacted 100 members of ASTC, A ssociation of S cience and T echnology C enters. 40\% replied; searched 200 web sites.

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museum education in atmospheric and oceanic hazards

Museum Education in Atmospheric and Oceanic Hazards

Jon M. Nese

Chief Meteorologist

Franklin Institute Science Museum

Philadelphia, PA

science centers museums
Science Centers & Museums
  • Contacted 100 members of ASTC, Association of Science and Technology Centers. 40% replied; searched 200 web sites.
  • Very few have meteorologist or oceanographer (notable exceptions: Franklin Institute, Carnegie Science Center, Fairbanks Museum, The Weather Museum - HOU).
  • But most science centers/museums have some weather-related exhibits or programs.
exhibits
Exhibits
  • Permanent -vs- traveling
  • Collectives exist to share exhibits (Science Museum Exhibit Collective (SMEC)
  • Mix of high tech and low tech
  • Not just panels on a wall: Interactive, Interactive, Interactive
traveling powers of nature
Traveling: Powers of Nature
  • NSF-sponsored, developed 1998 at TFI (PHL) with assistance from NOAA.
  • Features real-time data (from WSI and Global Atmospherics)
  • Visited other large science centers in LA, Ft. Worth, Boston, Columbus, Minneapolis.
permanent nature s fury omsi
Permanent: Nature’s Fury (OMSI)
  • The Wave Tank: Watch rhythmic movement of waves on a sandy beach within a 12 ft long aquarium.
  • Tornado Chamber: Pass your hands through a twisting vortex of air that simulates the wind dynamics of a tornado - safely.
  • Wind Tunnel: Place model buildings or yourself in a wind tunnel, whose speed you control up to 30 mph.
  • Earthquake Room: Puts you in the middle of an earthquake of magnitude 5.5 (common to mix) .
midwest wild weather project
Midwest Wild Weather Project
  • collaboration among nine science centers in IL, IN, IA, and MI. Each site has a set of eleven weather-related interactives which also travel to schools for weeklong visits
lightning
Lightning
  • Boston Museum of Science - world’s largest air-insulated Van de Graaff.
hurricanes and tornadoes
Hurricanes and Tornadoes

Exploratorium (San Francisco)

Gulf Coast Hurricane MOSI, Tampa FL

flooding
Flooding

Erosion or stream tables popular

museums and tv radio nws
Museums and TV / Radio / NWS
  • Weather instrumentation often linked to local TV (Weathernet, from AWS, in at least two dozen museums).
  • Local TV station in Portland, OR, broadcasts weather live from Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
  • Carnegie Science Center (PIT) forecasts for local TV; TFI, Fairbanks Museum (St. Johnsbury, VT), Weather Museum (HOU) provide forecasts to local NPR.
  • TFI does one-minute weather features for local PBS.
  • NWS Coop sites: TFI, Fairbanks, STL Science Center
slide11
Weathernet

Live Weather

stormy weather workshops tfi
Stormy Weather Workshops (TFI)
  • Museum/TV partnership
  • NWS & Project Safeside
  • Topics: Winter storms, Tornadoes, Hurricanes
ocean exhibits
Ocean Exhibits
  • Extreme Deep: BBH Exhibits in collaboration with Woods Hole. Highlights deep-sea exploration and discovery
  • Oceans Alive!: Boston Museum of Science
  • Poseiden’s Realm: Center of Science and Industry (Columbus)
  • Ocean Planet: Smithsonian (travelling)
in the works
In the Works
  • The Weather Museum -- project of the Weather Research Center (Houston). Devoted entirely to weather, with emphasis on hazards.
  • MOSI Tampa -- Partnering with Institute for Business & Home Safety to create "Disasterville,” an exhibit that features wind and water hazards and how to prepare for them (hurricanes & tornadoes, floods)
to think about
To Think About
  • Weather is hot topic in science centers, especially hazards and extremes.
  • Increasingly taking interpretation beyond their walls (web, TV)
  • Museums always looking for funding opportunities and partnerships.
  • Real-time data-driven interactives
to think about16
To Think About
  • There’s been some museum/university, museum/professional society, and museum/government partnerships, but mostly consulting and transitory.
  • Holes to fill: Exhibit on cycles (ENSO, sunspots, NAO??), Omni films on weather.
museum education in atmospheric and oceanic hazards17

Museum Education in Atmospheric and Oceanic Hazards

Jon M. Nese

Chief Meteorologist

Franklin Institute Science Museum

Philadelphia, PA

slide20
-- By no means exhaustive or complete, from the perspective of someone who’s been in museum world for only 3 years, might come out different if done by career museum person.

-- Became increasingly clear to me as I prepared this talk that it would be primarily about how museums spread the word about atmospheric, as opposed to oceanic, hazards

-- El Nino in most cases is closest museum come to “oceanic” hazard. Actually allows me to emphasize one of my conclusions, if there’s a topic out there waiting to be thoroughly, thoughtfully, and accurately covered in a museum exhibit, I believe it’s El Nino (might be part of a larger exhibit called “Atmosphere and Ocean cycles” or something like that).

-- Also this talk weighted toward TFI & meteo because that’s where I work and that’s my expertise.

-- ASTC numbers about 550 members, zoos, Mus Nat history, botanical gardens.

WEATHER HAZARDS OFTEN LUMPED INTO SAME EXHIBIT AS EARTHQUAKES AND VOLCANOES - ROOM FOR MISINTERPRETATION.

slide21
Great Lakes Science Center

Sick Earth: Sick Earth is a whimsical yet pointed exhibit, depicting our planet in a hospital bed. A thermometer checks for global warming. A Band-Aid covers the Amazon Rainforest. Sunglasses protect the Antarctic from a hole in the ozone layer. The hospital bed is surrounded by monitoring equipment, allowing visitors to learn more about what ails the Earth. Near the bed are get-well cards from the other planets. Designed to raise awareness of past and present environmental problems, this exhibit encourages visitors to personally help in the healing process.

Great Lakes Haunted House: This house isn't haunted by ghosts and goblins, it's haunted by hands-on exhibits about toxic chemicals and pollutants. Detergents, motor oil, fertilizers -- many common household items can pollute our homes, as well as the outdoor environment. Now that's spooky!

slide22
http://www.lsc.org/lsc_info/press_releases/current/extreme_deeppr.html (extreme deep)

http://www.mos.org/oceans/ (oceans alive Boston)

slide23
The weather operations at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium owe their tradition to the Museum's founder, Franklin Fairbanks. An avid amateur naturalist, Fairbanks kept meticulous weather records at his family home in St. Johnsbury, Vermont during the 1850's and 1860's. Shortly after the Fairbanks Museum was built in 1891, the Museum started recording daily weather statistics for the newly formed Weather Bureau.

Today, serving five commercial and public radio stations (including Vermont Public Radio), with a listener base of over three million, plus regional ski resorts, public utility corporations and private professional firms, the Northern New England Weather Center, located at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, is one of St. Johnsbury's most well-known and important assets.

Meteorologists Mark Breen and Steve Maleski have coordinated improvements in gather information with Lyndon State College's Meteorology Department, Level Nine, Inc., and the Connecticut River Valley Network

permanent nature s fury omsi24
Permanent: Nature’s Fury (OMSI)
  • The Wave Tank: Watch and listen to the rhythmic movement of waves on a sandy beach within a 12 foot long aquarium.
  • Tornado Chamber: Pass your hands through a twisting vortex of air that simulates the wind dynamics of a tornado - safely.
  • Wind Tunnel: Place model buildings or yourself in the path of a wind tunnel, whose speed you control up to thirty miles per hour.
  • Earthquake Room: Puts you in the middle of an earthquake of magnitude 5.5 (common to mix .
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