Aviation Hook On AK Weather

NOAA’s National Weather Service has a unit call the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (AAWU) specifically dedicated to providing forecasting tools for aviation in Alaska.

Using the AAWU site and student’s natural interest in flying, especially in AK where everyone knows someone with a bush plane, I will use this as a hook to teach about weather and climate. Weather is a huge concern for Alaskan bush pilots.

I will teacher vocabulary and concepts while showing students the tools and resources on this site. Working in groups of 2-3 students will choose their flight destination and write up a flight plan. On the flight plan they will write when and where they are flying to and the path they will take (maybe plan this using GoogleEarth). Using the tools I showed them from the AAWU site they will complete a weather forecast for the time and places they will be covering during their flight.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, about a fifth of fatal plane crashes in the U.S. occur in Alaska, where the weather is unpredictable and wild, roads are scarce, and traveling by plane to get from point A to point B is a way of life.



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