Dwayne Brown/Renee Juhans
Jan. 11, 2005
NASA Free Computer Model Available to Classrooms
A free NASA global climate model is available for high school and university desktop computers.
The Educational Global Climate Model (EdGCM), available for both Windows and Mac platforms, incorporates a 3-D climate model developed at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), New York. It wraps complex computer modeling programs with a graphical interface familiar to most PC users.
The climate model runs on a desktop computer to allow teachers and students to conduct experiments identical to those scientists run on supercomputers to simulate past and future climate changes. EdGCM links the climate model to both a database and scientific visualization utilities, making it simpler to create and organize data and images.
"The real goal of EdGCM is to allow teachers and students to learn more about climate science by participating in the full scientific process, including experiment design, running model simulations, analyzing data, and reporting on results via the Web," said Mark Chandler, lead researcher for the EdGCM project from Columbia University, New York.
An EdGCM Cooperative is being designed to encourage communication among students at different schools and among schools and research institutions. The cooperative will help students become familiar with the importance of teamwork in scientific research.
EdGCM educational materials are also in development. A curriculum module will walk students through a complete scientific project involving the Global Climate Model (GCM) and climate change analysis. Additional lesson plans will elaborate on how students can use a climate model to study topics such as ancient climates in geologic history or future climate water cycles. NASA is contributing funding to improve cross-platform compatibility and to create detailed manuals to help guide teachers through the many uses of EdGCM.
Professors at three N.Y. area universities are already using EdGCM. Professors and students at Columbia University, City University of New York, and New York University can conduct research projects using the NASA/GISS GCM. At least two high schools in Madison, Wis. are also testing EdGCM this semester in Earth Science courses.
For more information about the EdGCM, visit:
To download EdGCM software from the Internet, visit:
For more information about climate study in the classroom, please visit:
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:
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