Engaging students and teachers in meteorology and atmospheric sciences: the LaMMA activities
Scientific institutes contribute to increase scientific awareness in local communities. They also provide students and teachers with learning opportunities outside the classroom. This is especially true when science centers create opportunities to visit laboratories or design activities based on learning by doing. LaMMA, a public consortium set up by Italian National Research Council and Tuscany Region (Italy), is the official weather service for Tuscany. In recent years LaMMA developed several educational modules on meteorology for different school grades. Activities are performed during a two-hour visit at the LaMMA laboratory. Since 2011 every year more than 1200 students come to visit LaMMA to follow one of the proposed modules on meteorology. Students are engaged in different activities and have the opportunity to visit the LaMMA weather operations room and meet the forecasters. In the last two years, an educational module on climate change based on a participatory approach was proposed to teachers of all school levels. More than 500 teachers and environmental educators from all over Tuscany participated and many of them developed a follow up project in the classroom.