Department of Energy

Using Computing Power to Understand the Weather: A Middle School Workshop

June 17, 2019

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With its complexity, power, and ability to change quickly (especially in Illinois), the weather is something that captivates us all. Scientists rely heavily on computation, including supercomputers at Argonne National Laboratory, for the challenging task of understanding and predicting the weather. Surprisingly, the same process by which scientists attempt to model and predict the weather is a skill that can be learned by middle school students.

As part of a curriculum project funded by the National Science Foundation, Argonne's Educational Programs will host a five-day camp on weather and computational thinking for middle school students.

  • August 5-9, 2019
  • Argonne National Laboratory Learning Center, Lemont IL

The camp is open to students entering 8th or 9th grade this coming school year. Students will have the opportunity to investigate the weather from the perspective of a computational scientist. They will work with data and computer models in a setting that offers insight into the unique problem-solving approach that is computational thinking.

Learn more here.

During this camp, students will have the opportunity to "geek out" on weather and develop their computational thinking skills. They will work with data, computer-based weather models, and each other to better understand the weather and how we can predict it. Through this, participants will start to look at the world in new and creative ways and see the potential to apply computational thinking to many other problems.

At this camp, participants will:

  • Develop their problem-solving and teamwork skills
  • Think like a computational scientist
  • Learn from Argonne scientists who use computers to study the weather and other exciting science