Weather Science: Connecting Traditional Knowledge and Technology

Created by Russanne Low Last updated 8/20/2015

This bundle designed for indigenous classrooms begins a weather unit with a survey of weather stories from Indigenous Native American peoples. The critical importance of native knowledge is evidenced in a video about bush pilots in Alaska, who rely not only on weather reports based on satellite data, but also their skills in reading future weather conditions as they manifest as signs on the landscape. Atmospheric science concepts are introduced in a video and a series of hands-on activities selected from an educator's guide to Meteorology. Armed with this knowledge, students are then asked to complete a weather forecasting activity.

  • SciJinks: Weather Folklore

    Earth Science SciJinks: Weather Folklore This interactive resource explores weather related stories from around the world, with several examples from indigenous North American Peoples. Rather than seeing these stories as "contrasting" with scientific data, these can be used as culturally appropriate beginning points to introduce weather science. Follow up with video on Alaska Native Pilots, and how cultural knowledge is critical to their jobs.
  • Alaska Native Pilots | Social Studies, Science | Video | PBS LearningMedia

    Learn about how Alaska native pilots use both traditional knowledge and Western science to predict the weather. Hear from Alaska native pilots and others in the aviation industry as they describe the flying culture in Alaska and the challenges of flying in this environment. Learn about the importance of reading the weather and the landscape using nature's signmakers. For example, the shape and orientation of snowdrifts provide information about prevailing winds. PBS LearningMedia Video for Social Studies, Science for 6-12
  • Introduction and Chapter 1

    This document provides an educator's introduction that links well to the first activity, Weather Folklore, and provides an overview of the concepts needed to understand weather. The document also includes a number of hands on and inquiry activities that can be used to demonstrate physical princlples related to weather. This links to the complete document, Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-based Learning, Grades 5-9.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E5
  • Exploring Meteorology - YouTube

    NASA Connect Segment that explores meteorology and how it affects aviation safety throughout the National Airspace System. The video introduces basic weather concepts and uses data visualizations to describe the physics of the atmosphere.
  • Weather Forecasting

    This self-paced tutorial allows students to experience weather prediction, using satellite imagery. It can be used as an authentic assessment at the end of a weather unit, or used to introduce weather concepts.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/M2, 4B/E5, 3A/H1