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Meteorology meets Innovation

Third-grade Innovation Lab students at Woodward Parkway Elementary School got the opportunity to interact live with Nelson Vaz, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service. He spoke with the students from his office in the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York.

The video conference—set up by teachers Lidia Horyn and Janet Dieso in the school library—taught students about the various methods meteorologists use to make observations and issue weather predictions. Mr. Vaz explained the difference between a Warning and a Watch using a snowstorm as an example. The children learned that a Warning means to get ready (like buying food ahead of the storm) and a Watch means it’s time to take action (like closing schools). After the presentation, students were encouraged to ask questions; they were curious about how certain instruments worked and how hurricanes are formed.

The study of weather is part of the third-grade curriculum, and the information that students learned during the video conference will be used for an upcoming research project where they will present their findings with the use of green screen technology.