2nd Grade Meteorologists…They’ve Learned the Basics

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In addition to the dozens of professional organizations we present to around the country, throughout the year, meteorologists here at ImpactWeather are asked to speak at local schools and career fairs throughout the Houston area as well as to judge science fairs. Last week, I was asked to give a presentation for a group of 2nd graders, along with my fellow co-worker/friend ImpactWeather Sr. Meteorologist Dorri Breher, for Settlers Way Elementary. If you’re not familiar with the Houston area, Settlers Way is located in Fort Bend County in the city of Sugar Land, which is about 30 miles west of our studio here at ImpactWeather. Thanks to technology, we didn’t have to drive a single mile.

Settlers Way Elementary. Image: FortBendCountyGov.com

So how did we manage to produce a live presentation for a 2nd grade class without being at the school? We’re actually really fortunate to have very nice equipment and a studio setup a lot like you would see at television stations. In fact, we often do live streaming events from ImpactWeather.

Meteorologist Lauren Whisenhunt showing the ImpactWeather studio to student visitors. Photo: Fred Rogers

Last Thursday, Dorri started the presentation with “The Weather Recipe” or basically an introduction to meteorology. In order to keep it on a second grade level, she talked about how recipes call for certain ingredients to make pies, cookies, cakes, etc. just like meteorologists look for certain ingredients when forecasting severe weather. Dorri introduced the children to temperature, moisture, wind and air pressure–the four main ingredients of weather.

As for my part of the presentation, I gave them a “Behind the Scenes Look at TV Weather” and talked about why weather is so important to all sorts of professions (i.e. airplane pilots, construction workers, movie studios, etc.) even their every day lives. For example, I explained why the weather plays a vital role in both their activities at school and at home. I concluded the presentation with how the chroma-key works and why some images/scenes you see on television and in movies are probably filmed in front of a green screen.

We always enjoy and look forward to these types of presentations because it really does get the students involved and hopefully wanting to learn more about the weather. It’s pretty cool to get kids interested in weather at an early age and who knows, even inspire them to one day be meteorologists. I’ve wanted to be a meteorologist since I was in 6th grade, so it’s possible.

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