Goshen third graders ‘track’ the weather
Published 8:31 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2014
The third-grade students at Goshen Elementary School kicked off their class-wide weather project Tuesday with a visit from Josh Johnson, meteorologist with WFSA’s Storm Team and an up-close look at StormTracker 12, WSFA’s mobile weather unit.
The weather project will span the scope of the school year, and Johnson congratulated the students on being weather aware and weather prepared.
Debbie Coley, third-grade teacher, said today’s elementary students are weather conscious kids.
“Years ago, children were not as aware of the weather and weather conditions as they are today,” Coley said. “They see weather reports on television and anytime there are severe weather conditions here or elsewhere, they know about them.”
Weather awareness leads to weather preparedness. The goal of the weather project is for GES students to be weather aware and prepared.
“During the school year, the third-graders will learn more about the weather and how it affects them,” Coley said. “Having a meteorologist visit the school was an opportunity for the students to learn more about the way technology is used to forecast weather conditions and predict threatening conditions.”
Johnson told the students that television brings the weather to life.
“Television shows you what the weather looks like and what it feels like,” he said. “It also bring the science of meteorology to life.”
Johnson said having a mobile weather unit capable of going out into a storm is a powerful tool for reporting and forecasting weather conditions.
He explained that the camera mounted in a glass dome on the roof of the vehicle is used for tracking storms.
“It’s not always sunny so, we’ve had a windshield wiper installed so we can have a clear picture even when it’s raining,” Johnson said.
A spinning device on the roof of the van makes it possible to gauge wind speed.
When the wind speed gets to a certain point, then it becomes dangerous that’s why that spinning device is so important, Johnson told the students.
The vehicle also has a mobile weather lab with a big screen monitor in the back of the van. That lab makes it possible for the meteorologist in the field to have continuous access to the most current weather information.
Coley said Johnson’s visit was a great ways to kick off the third grade weather program.
“In a few weeks, the students will begin giving the daily weather forecast during the morning announcements,” Coley said. “We have a weather station set up in back of the school and the students will collect data from there and enter the information in the computer.”
The weather information the GES third graders collect could be sent to NASA where it would be recorded and sent to different places around the United States. The weather project will provide many opportunities for the students to learn more about the weather and discover ways to share their knowledge.