SOS Education Forum

The Education Forum is a group of educators, docents, and content creators within the SOS Collaborator's Network who meet quarterly via online webinar to discuss primarily how SOS can effectively educate K-12 and beyond. Please email Hilary Peddicord ( to sign up for this group. Click on the links below to access the meeting notes or archived webinars.

Past Agendas, Archived Webinars, & Notes

  • August, 2020 (Archived Webinar)
    •  Details on Virtual SOS Workshop - Stephen Zepecki
    • Using Mentimeter with SOS Explorer (for teacher workshops) - Patrick Rowley, James E Richmond Science Center, Charles County Public Schools 
    • New Datasets on Biodiversity and Human Climate Niche - Beth Russell
    • Brief Overview of Education Resources for SOS - Data Stories & SOSx Mobile Ideas - Hilary Peddicord
  • April, 2020 (Archived Webinar)
    • Update on Fall or Spring Workshop in Florida - Stephen Zepecki
    • Updates from NOAA Boulder (since fall '19) - Keith Searight
    • New Datasets - Beth Russell
    • Planet Rotations presentation ideas - Eddie Goldstein
    • Different methods for continuing to teach with SOS/SOSx and Social Distancing - Hilary Peddicord
  • March, 2019 (Archived Webinar)
    • Updates from NOAA Boulder
    • New datasets in depth (11 new datasets in Feb and Mar!)
    • How to add captions to your presentation playlists for narrated movies
    • Spotlights
    • VPLE Tutorials
  • May, 2018 (Archived Webinar) 
    •  It's a zoo out there! -- Capturing the pre-K-6th grade audience - Annette Brickley, Buttonwood Park Zoo 
    •  I found a map on the Internet, how do I get it on my sphere?! - Beth Russell, NOAA Boulder SOS Team
    • Food web activity -- A simple interactive sphere room activity - Stephen Zepecki, NOAA HQ SOS
    • 5.3.1 Release, order your dongle!, new datasets including Spotlight - Hilary Peddicord, NOAA Boulder SOS Team
  • January, 2018 (Archived Webinar) - This Strange Winter! & SOS 5.3 Release
    • SOS 5.3 Release highlights - Spotlight datasets, better graphics, etc., Keith Searight, NOAA Boulder
    • NGSS alignment with SOS Datasets on the Webpage! Hilary Peddicord, NOAA Boulder
    • Thin snowpack in the west, deep freezes in the deep south, snow in Mexico, mudslides in CA ... What is happening? How to show it on SOS? Tom DiLiberto, NOAA CPO
  • September, 2017 (Archived Webinar) - Hurricanes: Watching, Forecasting, Educating
    • 5.2.1 SOS Point Release & what's coming with 5.3, Keith Searight, NOAA SOS
    • Earth in True Color (GOES-16) - Real-time, Dan Lindsay, NOAA NESDIS
    • Recent Extreme Weather & Seasonal Forecasting, Tom DiLiberto, NOAA NCEP/CPO
    • Educating about Hurricanes with SOS, Hilary Peddicord, NOAA SOS
  • June, 2017 (Archived Webinar) - Detroit Collaborative Users Network Worshop Recap
    • What's new with SOS? - SOS Boulder Team, Shilpi & Hilary
    • Connecting people to science through six degrees of influence - Nurture Nature, Kate Semmes
    • SOS programs for Middle School Groups: Ready to implement lessons and a teaching tutorial - JMU, CJ Hartman
    • Volunteer and Interns, oh my! Building an efficient training program that increases recruitment and retention - Wild Center, Nick Corcoran
  • November, 2016 (Archived Webinar) - Visualizing Change and new "LIFE" datasets in-depth
    • Visualizing Change - Aquarium of the Pacific and partners developed new Live Program Series [and so much more] examining the strategic framework around talking about Global Change. - Emily Yam
    • Phytoplankton Model - MIT - Stephanie Dutkiewicz
    • Coral Bleaching Real-time - National Ocean Service - NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program - Paulo Maurin
    • Bird Migration - Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Frank La Sorte
  • September 2016 (Archived Webinar) - Visual Playlist Editor - SOS 5.1 How-to

    In the SOS 5.1 release, the new visual playlist editor is complete and fully functional as a dataset editor and playlist builder. The Visual Playlist Editor is an interactive playlist editor that visually lays out, modifies, and previews SOS dataset content.

  • August, 2016 (Archived Webinar) - Latest and Greatest Content In-Depth

    • Forest Change (Extent, Gain, Loss) - Sarah Mann - Global Forest Watch
    • Marine Debris: Garbage Patch Experiment - Greg Shirah - NASA GSFC
    • Ocean Surface Vorticity - Mathew Maltrud - Los Alamos National Laboratory
    • GFS Forecast Models - Real-time (new and improved) - Dan Pisut - NOAA NESDIS
    • Tsunami Historical Series - Leon Geschwind - NOAA NOS
  • May 2016 (Archived Webinar) - Student-Centered SOS

  • February 2016 (Archived Webinar) - Visual Playlist Editor

    In the SOS 5.0 release, we added a new playlist editor. The Visual Playlist Editor training at the 2015 Workshop was the most highly attended presentation; therefore, we thought it would be an important new feature to revisit in this forum.

    The Visual Playlist Editor is a new interactive playlist editor that visually lays out, modifies, and previews SOS dataset content. It is being released with SOS 5.0 as a "preview edition" to provide the SOS community an early look at what is planned to be a replacement for the existing playlist editor and it represents a major advance in how SOS content and presentations will be created and augmented.

  • July 2015 (Archived Webinar) - Live Programs
    SOS Hollings Scholar intern, Joe Lilek, was featured in a webinar showcasing live programs. With the introduction of the presenter notes feature on the iPad app, live programs are easier than ever to use, especially since Joe has been busy converting the scripts for many of the existing live programs to presenter notes on the iPad. Joe will describe three new live programs that he created, which incorporate interactive elements. This is also an opportunity for SOS sites to share about their own live programs and their strategies for audience engagement.

    Joe's three new programs are available on the SOS website (linked below) and under Live Programs on your iPad remote.

    1. Mitigation or Adaptation: You Decide - Following a broad overview of climate change, audience members are presented with realistic scenarios from around the world: Should we build a resort hotel in Miami Beach? How do we address air pollution in Beijing? How do we feel about longer growing seasons in Greenland? Audience members use clickers to vote on a course of action and the results give a launching point for discussion.

    2. Deciphering Uncertainty in a Changing Climate - This live program explains the three types of scientific uncertainty: natural variability, model uncertainty, and scenario uncertainty. To better understand the difficulty that comes with communicating uncertainty, audience members play an estimation game to guess the precise percentage of likelihood that corresponds to phrases used in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report like "very likely" and "virtually certain."

    3. Seeking Common Ground on Climate - This live program explores resources that are shared by everyone on Earth and why international cooperation is vital to confronting climate change. Shared resources are discussed in the context of "the Tragedy of the Commons" and a mock debate between audience members is facilitated to internalize the difficulty and complexity of international climate negotiations.

  • March 2015 (Archived Webinar) - Hands-on Activities: Used with SOS programs to reinforce subject content and increase understanding
  • September 2014 (Archived Webinar) - Art & SOS: Making content more meaningful & fun (archive does not have sound)
    • Shilpi Gupta - NOAA SOS Boulder - SOS: Cognition + Affect = Effect: A collaborative experiment between artists and scientists
    • Robin Ramsey - Boonshoft Museum - Pairing Isabelle Kirkland's art of biodiversity and extinction with SOS climate change concepts
    • Victoria Weeks - Verglas Media - A filmmaker's perspective of using movies, sound, photography, etc. with docent presentations and custom animations
    • Toshi Komatsu - Lawrence Hall of Science - Student-made datasets of exoplanets, a NASA Kepler art and education program
    • Jessica Beebe - NASA Wallops - Art & the Cosmic Connection: NASA's Discovery and New Frontiers Programs
  • March 2014 - Topic: Techniques and applications for engaging your audience
    • Introduction to Audience Response Systems (clickers) - Hilary Peddicord, NOAA
    • Programming, successes and challenges with iClickers - Robert Morris, Clark Planetarium
    • Creating Compelling Stories - Toshi Komatsu, Lawrence Hall of Science
    • NESO (NEO + Space Science Data) = Interactive display and analysis tool for accessing near real-time data on SOS - Maurice Henderson, NASA Godddard & Annette Brickley, Ocean Explorium
  • December 2013 (Archived Webinar) - Topic: New SOS Script: Human Health & Climate Change
    • Why use health in climate change education? Lisa Gardiner, UCAR
    • Script and new datasets - Eryka Thorley - UC Denver/ NOAA
    • What is Dengue and how is it spreading? Mary Hayden - NCAR
  • September 2013 - Topic: How to utilize partnerships for supplementing your programming and creating content
    • Ocean Explorium / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
    • Science Museum of Minnesota
    • University of Colorado graduate student & Boulder SOS team
    • Q/A / Check-in - What's new in the network?
  • June 2013 - Topic: Community engagement activites
    • From Risk to Resiliency, Kate Brandes, Nuture Nature Center
    • Summer of Discovery, Bryan DeBates, Space Foundation
    • Google Hangouts with SOS, Laura Allen, AMNH
    • Q/A - utilizing member expertise for new sites - ex. South Florida Science Museum
  • March 2013 - Topic: SOS educational techniques
    • Preview of a 100th Installation Tribute video clip
    • Update from NOAA Boulder on Teacher PD - Summer workshop - making the SOS experience 'active' for students
    • Next steps in SOS education from Britta Culbertson- NOAA Office of Education Einstein Fellow Distinguished Educator
    • Update from Lawrence Hall of Science's Sherry Hsi on Math on a Sphere
    • Update from Space Foundation's Amy Robinson on new K-12 programming and activities
    • Q/A and other updates from the Network
  • December 2012 - Welcome to the group!
    • SOS Collaboration Wall overview - GoTo Meeting Webinar
    • Suggested share one item on the Discussion Wall or Files & Documents page before the holidays to help populate and get used to the format of the new collaboration space
    • Discussion: Why did you join this group? How do you envision this group supporting you in your mission?
    • What's happening with SOS at your site - successes and struggles - that we should know about?