Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fall 2013 Outreach Review

Fall 2013 Outreach Review

Welcome to the first quarterly review of UW Atmos Outreach events. This review will be full of some news, events we attended or put on this quarter and a spot light on an event at the new Club Husky of the remodeled Husky Stadium where a few volunteers got to talk global circulation with College of the Environment Donors.


The UW Atmos Outreach Group has two faithful coordinators that keep everything pointed in the right direction. This quarter Chris Terai is handing off duties to Angel Adames in collaboration with Max Menchaca.

In the dark depths of the Atmospheric Sciences-Geophysics Building (ATG) where we call home the Outreach Video group is hard at work distilling the mysteries of the Coriolis Effect into a bite size and digestible tid bit. If you haven't seen some of their previous work on Latent Heat, Ocean Acidification and more check out the Outreach Videos on youtub here - link.

Looking ahead before looking back we have lots of events coming up.
  • Many visits from big groups in Winter quarter from a few different elementary schools
  • Multiple science nights to visit
  • Two part visit to a science club in Wallingford to talk with their elementary and middle school clubs. 
  • Group visiting coming to see both our outreach group, as well as Earth and Space Sciences outreach group, Rockin' Out.
It's really been amazing how many requests we've gotten to fill up our schedule this quarter (including many repeat requests).

Fall 2013 Outreach Events in Brief

November 7th - The College of the Environment hosted an advancement night at Club Husky where we had a table including demonstrations of cloud in a bottle and Dale Durran's spinning tank of Rossby waves. Read on to the Event Spotlight for details.

November 15th - Billings Middle School Robotics Club is doing a lesson on natural disasters. They
visited us to hear about how/why severe weather events occur and the societal impacts. Check out what Jack Scheff had to say about the event in Event Spotlight below.

November 11, 18th, or 25th - Discussed weather at a Boy Scout meeting in Leschi neighborhood
A group of boy scouts are working towards their weather merit badge, and one of their requirements was to learn from and talk to a weather expert.

December 5th - Highland Terrace Elementary School hosted a science night where we had a general weather booth.

Event Spotlights

Billings Middle School Robotics Club Visit

Description of Billings Middle School Robotics Club visit by volunteer extraordinare Jack Scheff.

Last Friday I got to know a great group of kids from Billings Middle School in Greenlake.  They were visiting our building as part of their Robotics Club, which meets for a few hours after school every Friday.  They are participating in the First Lego League, which this year has them studying natural disasters and designing and building a robotic device that might aid in a natural disaster situation (and writing a play about it!)  The Billings kids had voted to focus on volcanic eruptions and floods, so I spent an hour or so talking to them about flood and volcano preparedness (and prediction) in the Northwest, and answering their many excellent questions.

Finally we all went downstairs to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, to visit the office where the Cascade volcanoes are monitored in real time.  The staff there were happy to show the students all the seismographs and other equipment, and explain what types of earthquakes would precede a major eruption.

This was a fun and unique outreach event!

College of the Environment Event at Club Husky


The event at Club Husky was an opportunity for the College of the Environment to show off some of its diverse programs to donors of the College. Our outreach group brought three volunteers, Xiaojuan Liu, Max Menchaca and Greg Quetin to run demos of cloud formation and general circulation.

Club Husky in the newly remodeled Husky Stadium.

With our cloud-in-a-bottle demostration and Dale Durran's rotating table we created clouds (the big pop from the cloud formation is as fun for adults as it is for kids) and how heat makes it from the equator to the pole in a rotating world (spoiler, it's the eddies).

Xiaojuan making clouds.
Appetizers before the crowd got too thick.
This was a fun event with a diverse crowd of people who are connected to and interested in the Earth system. Thank you to the College of the Environment for inviting us out.


That is it for the first ever UW Outreach Review.  Fall was a busy quarter and it just looks like they are going to get busier. If you are interested in planning an event with the UW Atmos Outreach Group in the future please contact us through out website (link).

-The UW Atmos Outreach Blogging Crew