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The lessons on this website were created as a part of the Meteorological Education and Secondary-school Outreach (MESO) program. 

MESO is directed by Dr. Matthew D. Parker, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL; 2002-2005) and North Carolina State University (NCSU; 2005-present).  This program is funded by the National Science Foundation. The MESO program encourages currently enrolled students at UNL and NCSU to use their meteorological knowledge as a tool for outreach to non-meteorologists. The goals of this program are:

1. To help secondary-school students undertake scientific thinking while learning useful information about local weather, and

2. To advance the scientific understanding, communication, and computing skills of the UNL and NCSU students who participate.

For more information about MESO, please contact Dr. Parker via e-mail.


The MESO program was originally proposed as a means to improve the population of incoming science students at universities and simultaneously to increase the proficiency of our undergraduate and graduate students.  The various facets of MESO are aimed at addressing the following identified needs, which many science faculty repeatedly diagnose among their undergraduate students:

1) many students have minimal scientific intuition about their surroundings,

and are generally unable to attack unfamiliar problems methodically and find reasonable solutions;

2) many students have marginal computer skills;

3) minority students and women do not participate in scientific fields in proportion to their representation in the general population; and

4) many students are never trained how to write, speak, present material, or teach to other people in the scientific community.

MESO seeks to address these needs on two ends: first, by providing materials that engage prospective science majors in a way that is both interesting and representative of the scientific thinking process; and second, by enlisting our current undergraduate students to do the communication and outreach.  Meteorology and hazardous weather suggest themselves as appropriate vehicles for this kind of outreach, as many people monitor some aspect of the weather in their day-to-day lives, and nearly as many seem to find it interesting.


The lessons entitled Thunderstorms  and Weather Systems  were created during the summer of 2005 by three students at UNL:

Kyle Klute, Carrie Setlak, and Natalie Umphlett.

The lessons entitled Hurricanes and Winter Weather were created during the summer of 2006 by three students at NCSU:

Christian Cassell, Sheri Pugh, and Andrew Snyder.

These creative meteorology majors designed and created all of the text, audio, and movie clips that constitute these lessons.

The lesson plans and activities were created during the summer of 2007 by three NC public high school science teachers:

Wendy Edwards, Ken Nagel, and Ann Spencer.

The MESO logo, web style sheets, and general navigation for this website,

the implementation of the web and database software, and general technical support

are the work of David Cosseboom and Christy Carlson of eVorticity.com.

Technical Note

These lessons involve movies that are in Flash format.  In order to view them, you will need to have a web browser that has a Flash player installed.  You can see if you have Flash installed for your browser by clicking here

We have not tested every possible version of Flash, but we believe that if your browser has version 7 of Flash (or higher), you should be able to see all of the content correctly.  This is a widely used and readily available tool, but some computers still may not have Flash.  If you find that you are unable to view our Flash movies, you can download the latest Flash player from www.macromedia.com and follow the directions there to install it.  Ask your teacher or technical support staff to help you with this if you're not sure how to do it.

Copyright Notice

All of the text, audio, photography, video, and Flash content of these web lessons represent the creativity and intellectual effort of the summer students who created them, and they are copyrighted.  The materials on this website may not be redistributed without the expressed permission of MESO.  Please contact Dr. Parker for more information.

How Did You Do That?

The animated lessons on this website were created using Macromedia Flash MX 2004.  The computer simulations in the Thunderstorms module were performed using the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS).  The three-dimensional movies of the computer output were then created using a software package called Vis-5D.   Weather photographs and real-world movies were taken by the participants of MESO using standard photographic and video equipment, and either household items, or mother nature herself!

Funding Agency

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 0349069 and 0552154. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.