SnowSchool features a unique and comprehensive curriculum designed for elementary, middle and high school students. Our activity guides are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards. This is an important element of the program as SnowSchool is intended contribute to K-12 students’ overall learning and academic achievement. For information on how to become a SnowSchool site or to receive a full copy of one of our curriculum guides please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our newest resources include exciting hands-on snow science activities and curriculum guides we created by collaborating with and incorporating the methods of cutting edge snow science researchers. Below you will find explanatory videos for each topic. For some of the longer videos you will need your SnowSchool password. Again, there is no cost to be a SnowSchool site and if you are interested in becoming a SnowSchool site please contact Kerry McClay: email@example.com
Snowpack Dust Experiment
Dust bust! Scientist are suggesting that blowing dust may be a more significant driver of accelerated snowpack melt in the Western US than rising temperatures. Here’s a short video on how we developed this SnowSchool activity by collaborating the Long-Term Ecological Research Site at the University of Colorado. For more details on the project check out the blog post. And to receive a write up of the experiment/activity and full curriculum guide please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Recorded during our live webinar series this video explains the relevance of Snow Water Equivalent and how to explore it with students at SnowSchool. The density sampling methods presented in the video were developed in collaboration with NASA’s International Snow Working Group. Forgot your password? Want a write up of the activities presented in the video? Just email email@example.com
Recorded during our live webinar series this video explains how use the unique Snowpack Prediction Contest in your local Snowschool program for both elementary and middle/high school students! Using live and historical NRCS SNOTEL data we based this fun science challenge on the practices and methods of NRCS snow hydrologists. Want SnowSchool to create a Snowpack Prediction Contest for students in your area/watershed? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org Click here to see the list of current contests. Want to see an example of a contest wrap-up presentation? Click here.
Studying the cryosphere (the snow and ice covered portion of the Earth) is a big undertaking! The sheer scale and dynamic nature Earth’s snowpack presents unique challenges to snow science researchers. To aid this effort SnowSchool is collaborating with the Community Snow Observations (CSO) project and Dr. David Hill at Oregon State University. CSO is designed to empower skiers and snowshoers to become citizen scientists and directly contribute to NASA snow science research (see CSO video below). SnowSchool sites and students are ideal CSO participants because they are usually already collecting snowpack depth data in the same locations all winter long. Sending the data to CSO (and ultimately NASA) does require the use of a smartphone or computer and the procedures are outlined on the CSO website and in our SnowSchool/CSO curriculum guide (right). Want to see the full guide? Email email@example.com
Every snow crystal tells a story, and scientists at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) are using citizen science to better understand these icy anecdotes! DRI’s Stories in the Snow project depends on students equipped with special smartphone technology to snap timestamped pictures of individual snow crystals that have just fallen from the sky. DRI scientists like Meghan Collins collect and compare the photos to weather conditions at the time the crystals were formed. This unique research is designed to answer important questions about the atmospheric conditions that create snow crystals (see video below). To find out how to get a Stories in the Snow kit click here. This project is a perfect extension experience for SnowSchool students who have done our hands-on snow crystal activities (see the guide to right). Want a copy of the activity guide? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The SnowSchool Weather Station was installed in 2015 in collaboration with the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station. Located in the Boise National Forest, the weather station’s primary purpose is to enhance the learning experience of thousands of K-12 students who attend the Bogus Basin SnowSchool program every winter. The weather station also serves as a testing ground for instruments deployed by the USFS. Research hydrologists Charles Luce and Thomas Black recently developed and installed a new scientific instrument at the SnowSchool Weather Station- a snow temperature ladder. The instrument uses a series of cables attached to posts every 5cm throughout the snowpack to measure the temperature of the snow at that exact location in the snowpack (see video below) This new invention is assisting their research into the impacts of climate change on mountain snow. And snowpack thermal gradient is a phenomena that is perfect for hands-on science explorations with SnowSchool students, see the sample activity guide to the right. Email email@example.com with questions.
The 2019-20 NASA SnowEx mission aims to further advance new technology to remotely detect snow density (water content) from aircraft and, ultimately, an orbiting satellite. WWA ambassador and Boise State University snow scientist Hans-Peter Marshall is leading the mission, and several of the aircraft flight paths in CA, ID and CO will go directly over SnowSchool sites. NASA scientists need students to collect snow density samples on the ground and, with help from Community Snow Observations, send to researchers to compare to the data collect from aircraft. This is an exciting an opportunity for SnowSchool students and our curriculum guide explains how to make this experience possible! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.