Using tree rings to teach weather and climate | RMetS

Education update April 2019

New teaching resources for Scotland and teaching weather using tree rings

Sylvia Knight
29 April 2019

The Society’s formal education programme has been very busy so far in 2019. We have delivered weather and climate subject knowledge days to trainee and established teachers at MMU, Edge Hill, UEA, Ulster, Sheffield and Bristol. In addition, we’ve demonstrated our award-winning climate negotiations resource to teachers in Manchester and Scotland. 

Our online course for teachers and all those with an interest in the weather, Come Rain or Shine, was running at the beginning of the year and is now having a break before starting again in June.  

Using tree rings to teach weather and climate

Over the past few years, we have been working with Danny McCarroll and Neil Loader from the University of Swansea and Randy Russell from UCAR to develop weather and climate teaching resources based on proxy data from tree rings. These were launched at the Geographical Association’s Annual Conference in Manchester and can be found here.

As part of this collaboration, Danny McCarroll has built a wooden representation of 800 years of summer rainfall, with the height of each piece of wood representing the summer rainfall in the year. This wonderfully tactile and interactive exhibit was the star of the exhibition and we are looking at simple ways that schools could replicate it. 

New collection of primary and secondary geography teaching resources for Scotland

We’ve also launched a new collection of resources on MetLink to support primary and secondary geography teachers in Scotland, as well as creating some past climate change teaching resources based on recent work suggesting that the European arrival in America could have contributed significantly to the Little Ice Age. 

With a number of exciting projects in the pipeline, the rest of the year should be equally productive!