Grandparents University 2016

For the 12th year in a row, SSEC/CIMSS participated in Grandparents University. More than a thousand grandparents and grandchildren (ages 9-14) visited the UW-Madison campus, some of whom stopped by the AOSS building on July 28 (1:45-4:45 p.m.) and July 29 (9-noon) for the meteorology “major.”

On day one, CIMSS education and public outreach director Margaret Mooney welcomed the group with an overview of weather and satellite imagery, an anemometer activity, a trip to the CAVE, and a 3D globe demonstration. AOS undergraduate student Kevin Van Schoyck led a Suomi NPP satellite model activity.

On day two, Mooney gave the group an overview of the electromagnetic spectrum through a solar bead activity, and had them identify Madison landmarks using satellite images. Then, SSEC scientist Erik Olson, SSEC research intern Michelle Feltz, and AOS graduate student David Loveless launched a radiosonde. Back inside, on the eighth floor, AMRC scientist David Mikolajczyk gave a presentation on Antarctic research, Library/Media director Jean Phillips presented early images of snowflake crystals from the Schwerdtfeger Library collection, and SSEC scientist Samantha Tushaus led a weather trivia game.

Grandparents University is hosted annually by the Wisconsin Alumni Association. According to Mooney, “This award-winning outreach program was the first of its kind and has inspired similar activities at universities nationwide.”

  • Slide 0

    The meteorology “major” group on the AOSS rooftop. AOS undergraduate student Kevin Van Schoyck is pictured top right, and CIMSS education and public outreach director Margaret Mooney is top left. Credit: Sarah Witman, SSEC.

  • Slide 1

    AOS graduate student David Loveless prepares a weather balloon for launch. Credit: Sarah Witman, SSEC.

  • Slide 2

    SSEC scientist Erik Olson attaches a radiosonde to the weather balloon. Credit: Sarah Witman, SSEC.

  • Slide 3

    A student waits to release the weather balloon. Credit: Sarah Witman, SSEC.

  • Slide 4

    A student waits to release the weather balloon. Credit: Kevin Van Schoyck, AOS.

  • Slide 5

    A student waits to release the weather balloon. Credit: Sarah Witman, SSEC.

  • Slide 6

    A student waits to release the weather balloon. Credit: Kevin Van Schoyck, AOS.

  • Slide 7

    AOS graduate student David Loveless demonstrates data being received from the balloon. Credit: Sarah Witman, SSEC.

  • Slide 8

    AMRC scientist Dave Mikolajczyk gives a presentation on Antarctica. Credit: Sarah Witman, SSEC.

  • Slide 9

    A grandparent examines one of Wilson Bentley’s historic glass lantern slides. Credit: Sarah Witman, SSEC.

  • Slide 10

    A Bentley glass lantern slide, depicting snow crystals, from the Schwerdtfeger Library’s collection. Credit: Sarah Witman, SSEC.

by Sarah Witman