SCHOOL: Joyner Elementary School
GRADE: 2nd Grade
PROGRAM: Weather Wise
Scientist: Max Fry
2nd Grade: Weather Wise
On November 14th I visited the 2nd graders at Joyner Elementary. I was excited to show them the Weather Wise program and was confident that they would enjoy it. I had previously taught Weather Wise multiple times and the students always loved all the different activities the program provided for them. At Joyner, the 2nd grade is housed in the portables, so I quickly made my way through the school and across the blacktop to meet my first class. Even though it was early on a Monday morning, the students were excited right when I walked in the room! Many of them had already participated in Science Fun For Everyone! programs and remembered how enjoyable they were last time. I began the Weather Wise lesson and was pleasantly surprised by how much the students already knew about different aspects of the weather, and I was looking forward to teaching these junior meteorologists even more! We made lightning with the plasma ball (always a fan favorite) and each student successfully made their own weather station. The plaster for the weather stations is sometimes tricky so I was happy everything was going smoothly. Next, we made models of hailstorms and then the students were able to participate in multiple stations that included “tornado tubes”, rain gauges, suction cups, and wind bags. Everyone was having fun and also learning a lot about varied weather topics! Time for the lesson was running out but we had just enough for the grand finale… Fog Rings! Using a fog machine and a modified trash can, I was able to shoot rings of fog across the classroom, to the delight of the students. But just as I was loading up the trash can to make a few final rings, the fire alarm went off! We quickly exited the portable and lined up on the black top. I had used the fog machine many times without ever setting off alarms, so I wondered if it was just a crazy coincidence that the alarm had gone off when I started making fog. This question was answered when I realized the alarm was only coming from the portables I was in and when the firemen showed up! It was not a drill and no crazy coincidence! Apparently, the portable had a very sensitive smoke detector that fog would even set off. Thankfully neither the firemen or the teachers were too upset by the alarm going off and I was just nicely asked to not use the fog machine anymore. The rest of the classes were completed with no problems, but unfortunately the students had to miss out on the fog machine. I have since taught Weather Wise at other schools and used the fog machine without any alarms, but now I will always be wary after that one Monday at Joyner when the fog caused an impromptu fire drill!