Rachel Freeman Elementary School
In April of 2008...National Weather Service Meteorologists Stephen Keebler, Erik Heden, and Steve Pfaff taught a three part series on meteorology at Rachel Freeman Elementary School in Wilmington, North Carolina. The focus of the initiative was safety...more importantly tornado safety. During the final lesson...miniature tornadoes...were distributed to all fifth graders with tornado safety reminders printed on the side. These were furnished through a grant from The Bright Ideas Grant Education Grant Program and The Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corporation A big thank you goes out to these folks. Also a big thank you to Rachel Freeman fifth grade teachers Ms. Exline, Mrs. Tomjack, and Mr. Schwartz. See the breakdown of the sessions below.
Day One April 23rd, 2008
The first day was dedicated to an introduction to basic components of the atmosphere. These included air masses...cold...warm and stationary fronts...along with high and low pressure systems. The concepts were reinforced by showing various weather maps and having the students identify what they learned on them. At the very end of Day 1, we went over the water cycle. One of the main components of the presentations were the interactive questions...where web-based questions were used to engage and reward the students. Each student who answered a question correctly, received a National Weather Service sticker.
Day Two April 24th, 2008
After a brief review...we picked up right where we left off. We began the session talking about the different classifications of clouds. Next we stepped into thunderstorms. We talked about the ingredients necessary for formation...the different stages and last but not least safety. Much like on Day 1, the students had the chance at the end of class to come up and answer web-based interactive questions.
Day Three April 28th, 2008
After a brief review...we once again picked up right in sequence. We talked about tornado climatology... the necessary ingredients for tornadoes...and of course tornado safety. We finished the program by looking at the tornado simulator and distributing the mini-tornadoes.