SCHOOL: Wake Forest
GRADE LEVEL: 5th
PROGRAM: Storm Chasers
INSTRUCTOR: John McLeod-Moya
Scientist John’s Experience:
The other day I visited 5th graders at Wake Forest Elementary. We explored meteorology, or the science of weather, and had an awesome time. We learned that meteorology is very exciting, and that extreme forms of weather can be a blast to learn about!
First we explored lightning and clouds. Not only did we learn where these phenomena come from, but we also had the chance to touch real lightning and make a real cloud. Later we explored the world of weather using real meteorological tools, and a few activities to help demonstrate concepts we talked about. Free exploration time was a great chance to work with friends while having fun learning about wind, air pressure, precipitation, and vortex storms. The tornado tubes, wind bags (large bags we learned to blow up in one breath), and anemometers (tools that measure wind speed) were particular favorites.
After free exploration time we learned about convection, and I showed the kids how to move objects with my mind…Just kidding, we made cartesian diver barometers which we could use to test air pressure. When you squeeze this barometer a diver inside of it moves, allowing you to see the change in pressure (or trick our friends into thinking you are a Jedi). Young scientists decorated their barometers and adjusted them to make them sensitive to the slightest application of pressure.
The class had a blast, and were glad they had the opportunity to experiment with real scientific instruments. One child said “I love when we get to do hands on stuff, it makes science fun!” I can’t wait till the next time we return to Wake Forest, and I know we left a great impression on their 5th grade class.