About Us


Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle is an online professional development magazine which focuses on preparing elementary teachers to teach climate science concepts while also integrating inquiry-based science and literacy instruction. The project draws on research showing that an integrated approach can improve student achievement in science, as well as in reading comprehension and oral and written discourse abilities. Through the Beyond Weather and Water Cycle project, we propose to increase elementary teachers’ understanding of climate and climate change, increase the amount and quality of science taught in elementary classrooms, and build a virtual professional learning community of practice around the teaching of climate and climate change. These goals will be accomplished by contextualizing and adapting existing developmentally-appropriate digital resources delivered through an online magazine format including differentiated, engaging informational texts; developing an online climate literacy course for elementary teachers; and utilizing Web 2.0 tools to provide interactive experiences and to facilitate virtual, collaborative professional development. Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle is modeled on an award-winning NSF-funded project Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears: Integrating Literacy and Science in K-5 Classrooms.

Structured around the seven essential principles of climate literacy, instructional and professional resources will take elementary teachers and their students past the superficial understanding and teaching of weather and the water cycle to a solid understanding of climate. An interdisciplinary approach will foster an understanding of Earth (and its climate) as a system of interconnected parts. By improving elementary teachers’ understanding of climate science and change through an Earth systems approach, we are effectively preparing our youngest students to study and shape climate policy in the future.

This flyer provides information on both projects and can be used for dissemination purposes.

Nonpersonal Information Collected by the Project Web System

Our web servers automatically record general information on all users who browse the content of our site. These data collection systems gather:

  • Your IP address
  • The Internet domain for your Internet service, such as company.com or school.edu
  • The type of connection you use to connect to the site (such as a modem or a local area network)
  • The type and version of the browser you are using to access beyondpenguins.nsdl.org (such as Netscape 5.0 or Internet Explorer 6.0)
  • The type and version of the operating system you use (such as Macintosh or Windows)
  • The screen resolution and color depth of your monitor, as well as the size of your browser window
  • What version of JavaScript is associated with your browser, whether Java is enabled, and whether cookies are supported
  • Whether or not a page you are visiting is set as the home page on your browser
  • The address of the previous site you were visiting, if you linked to beyondpenguins.nsdl.org from another site
  • The pages you visit on the Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle website and the files you download
  • The date, time, and length of time of your visit

The logs are periodically summarized and analyzed to study site usage over time to help us improve the site’s organization, performance, and usefulness. This information is only examined in the aggregate, not at the individual level.


We are committed to providing access to all individuals. If you have trouble accessing this page and need to request an alternate format, please contact the webmaster.


Material in these pages is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1034922. 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.

Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle is not responsible for the content of any referenced web pages created by external parties. This project does not necessarily endorse the companies or organizations featured on these pages. Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle provides links to other web sites when, in our judgment, information residing on these sites would be helpful to elementary school teachers. We cannot assure that the content will remain the same. It is the responsibility of Internet users to make their own decisions about the accuracy, currency, and reliability of information found.

Address any questions about these or other policies to:

Kimberly Lightle, PhD
Principal Investigator
Director of Digital Libraries
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University
1929 Kenny Road
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 688-3485