April 21, 2017 to April 23, 2017
Project Location: 
Dallas, TX
Project Description: 
Earth Day Texas 2017

Principle Investigator: Becca Hatheway
Where: Dallas, Texas 
When: April 21-23, 2017
Facility: CSWR Doppler on Wheels
 

Overview

The Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR) jointly with the UCAR Center for Science Education (UCAR SciEd) participated in Earth Day Texas, a three-day event held in Dallas, TX, on April 21-23, 2017. The goal of this event was to expose Earth Day Texas attendees to cutting edge severe weather research and to inform students about opportunities to pursue careers in atmospheric research.

Over 100,000 people attended the Earth Day Texas event over the course of three days and approximately 3,000 people visited the experiences facilitated by CSWR and UCAR SciEd. These experiences included the Doppler on Wheels, a tornado pod, and a booth with hands-on activities and demos about severe weather. The CSWR group launched 3-4 weather balloons each day and gave tours of the Doppler on Wheels and associated facilities. The CSWR/UCAR SciEd exhibit area was among 900 other exhibits at this event.

On Friday, April 21st, approximately 5,000 K-12 students from the Dallas Independent School District attended the event, along with members of the general public. Groups of students toured the event with their school groups, and many of these groups spent time at the CSWR/UCAR SciEd exhibit area. On Saturday, April 22nd and Sunday, April 23rd, members of the public attended the event.

The event was promoted on social media and in local press in the Dallas metro area. After the event, Lisa Gardiner from UCAR SciEd published a blog post about the event, highlighting what visitors experienced at the CSWR/UCAR SciEd area: https://scied.ucar.edu/blog/fear-and-awe-storms-earth-day-texas.

In summary, partners from both organizations agreed that the event was a worthwhile undertaking and increased public understanding of severe weather research, weather phenomena, and how severe weather impacts people and their environments. The Doppler on Wheels was a big draw and attracted a lot of attention from event attendees.

Figure 1. A student launching a weather balloon