From jumping on desks to help students visualize air movement to making cotton candy for a hail formation demonstration, Meteorologist Drew Anderson makes science fun and exciting for non-science majors.
At Penn State or West Chester University, he has taught and created all the lectures, assignments, activities, and course resources for:
- Introductory Meteorology (METEO 3/ESS 170)
- Weather & Risk (METEO 4)
- Severe & Unusual Weather (METEO 5)
- Weather & History (METEO 6)
- Physical Geography (GEOG 10)
- Environment & Society (GEOG 30)
- Natural Disasters (EARTH 101)
- Intercultural Community Building (HDFS 287)
In all of Drew’s classes, students never pay for a textbook; instead, he creates their learning resources. All of these resources contain the same information so students can pick the source(s) that work best for their learning needs.
Students have the option of coming to in-class lecture, watching video lectures and field videos, scrolling through a unit’s PowerPoint, and/or reading the detailed unit review.
On course evaluations, students consistently rate his web classes as the best (formated) web class they’ve ever taken.
Drew’s courses are rich with media and interactive, hands-on activities.
Watch these lecture, field site, and real-word videos about Doppler Radar. Students in METEO 3 or ESS 170 view these videos in their tornado and hurricane unit.
Video Lecture: Introduction To Doppler Radar (2:08 minutes)
Video Lecture: The Science Of Doppler Radar (6:17 minutes)
360 Field Video: Inside a Doppler Radar Dome At NASA (1:03 minutes)
Field Video: Watch the Doppler Radar Move (26 seconds)
Real World Video: FOX43 News Clip Showing How Hurricane Winds Damaged A Doppler Radar (1:06 minutes)
Field Video: Hurricane Wind Damage In Puerto Rico (1:12 minutes):
So students can experience the science discussed in lecture and field site videos, each unit has hands-on activities with household items.
The next video comes from Drew’s severe weather unit. Students are asked to freeze a colored drink from their fridge into ice cubes. The ice cubes represent thunderstorms.
When students place the frozen drink into a flat container of water, they’ll see how cold air drops out of thunderstorms to cause straight-line wind damage on the ground.
Activity Video: Thunderstorm Wind Damage Simulation (58 seconds)
In 2017, Penn State Lehigh Valley awarded Drew with their faculty teaching award for technology and teaching innovation.
At the end of a semester, a few students usually email Meteorologist Drew Anderson their thoughts about the course. Here are some excerpts from the unsolicited emails:
- John: “I really enjoyed the Earth 101 class. You have given me a greater understanding and appreciation for the topics we covered. I am very grateful for that. You made learning fun and enjoyable. I have never had a science class that I enjoyed until I took your class.”
- Braelin: “Also I would just like to add that I really enjoyed your class, I think the way you teach it is really effective in making us understand weather without making it too complicated, because I feel like its easier to retain the information the way you teach it. Also your energy keeps the content interesting! I’ve recommended your class to a bunch of my friends!”
- Christopher: “This class was awesome! I really enjoyed all the lessons, but the space and volcano modules we’re my favorite. Between the videos, PowerPoints, summaries, and related articles I was really able to get a grasp of the topics. I thought you gave us plenty of time to complete each module, and I like the assortment of take we had to do. The labs are a lot of fun and the quizzes are interesting and not intimidating.”
- Daniel: “Honestly, you’re an amazing professor and I hope to see you around campus again. I would take another one of your courses, it matched my scheduled perfectly but my credits are maxed for GN (science general education courses).”
- Connor: “Thanks for such an insightful and fun class, Drew! Great to meet you and truly experience your class.”
- Elizabeth: “I just wanted to say thank you so much for making this class so interesting and fun!”
- Alyssa: “Just wanted to let you know I appreciate how you ran your class it was very different compared to all my classes, and it’s very beneficial.”
- Kristen: “I had a great time being in your class. You made it very fun and enjoyable.”
- Lauren: “I’m truly going to miss this class and you making it a blast!”
- Laura: “That was definitely by far one of the most helpful responses any teacher has ever given me, thank you so much!! I think it’s great that you give so more options to learn the material. I am an early childhood education major and that is one of the things we are taught to do. So far you are one of the only teachers I have had who does that!”
- Natasha: “You are an amazing professor I’ll miss seeing you walking on desktop .”
- Timothy: “It’s awesome once and awhile to get a teacher who is as upbeat and positive as you so thank you.”
- Marcus: “Thank you for everything! This has been one of my favorite classes. The interaction you had with the students was phenomenal. Having the videos with examples, powerpoints with examples, guest speakers, etc. You gave us all students, the best possible way to get a high grade.”
- Alex: “I just wanted to let you know that I had a great time taking this course. It was very interesting material that I thought I’d never know! You are a very interesting professor and I enjoy you humor.”
- Allie: “I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for being a professor that loves what they do and the subject they teach. Thank you for making class fun, and for being available. I am the type of student that hated science and doesn’t generally have good grades until I took your class. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to take another one of your classes if it works in my schedule.”
- Simrun: “I had so much fun in your class, you’re an awesome teacher!!”
- Nicole: “Thank you for such a great semester! I really enjoyed your class.”
- Trevor: ” I never really get to see you in person [web student] so I just wanted to tell you that that video tour of the US is probably one of the coolest assignments I’ve ever worked on. Even though I do these assignments very last minute I actually went through and was interested in almost all of the videos you put in it. So so cool on how you go to these places and are always thinking of teaching your students new stuff. To me, who is a complete business major and really has no interest in geography, I felt the videos you provided were awesome and I genuinely enjoyed the time I spent watching them. Please never take that assignment off your syllabus, highlight assignment for the semester for me! Thanks again!”
- John: “Thank you so much professor! It was a pleasure having you this semester, this was by far my favorite class so far at West Chester. I thought I was going to enjoy this course (just for a natural interest with weather) but you made me want to learn the material. Plus the 5.0 average that you have on RateMyProfessor from students was 100% earned. I really appreciate everything this semester and enjoyed all of the stories and energy that you shared with us. I will definitely recommend you to my friends!”
- Stephanie: “I took this course [GEOG 10] completely online. This professor is outstanding. The course is “flex learning” course which means that it can be 100% in class or 100% online. This course is a 7-week course, the professor is very involved and is reachable over skype if needed for online students.”
- Stephanie: “I really enjoyed this class and doing this project, I honestly didn’t know how interesting it all could be.”
- Johana: “I just wanted to say that I really appreciated the course and have learned a lot. Your teaching methods are probably one of the best I’ve seen especially in an online format.”