Back in 1962, I started a very unique weather program. What made it so unique was that it was based on learning how to actually forecast the weather, the details would come later. Children are excited when they can forecast exactly when the snow will begin, when it will end and how many inches will accumulate. The students became “big shots” in the school. Everyone would ask them if it was going to snow, when it would start and how much we would receive. What made this all possible was that the school invested in a teletype machine which transmitted updated weather for the eastern half of the United States to the school every hour. Student would plot up surface maps, see where it was snowing, how fast it was moving and in what direction, then make a forecast. I knew very little about the weather. It was my job to learn along with the students.
A Unique Weather Program for Young People
The school rented a second teletype machine which gave us the weather for the entire country. The students would plot up the weather for the entire country. We then received the upper air data. Students would then plot up the upper air and make forecasts based on the movements of the winds aloft. Eventually, the Lakeland Weather Program became the most advanced program in the entire United States.
At that time, the program was very expensive. However, seeing how valuable it was for the students, the school district, although a very poor district, spent the money to keep the program going for over 40 years.
Today, all the data that we used to make the forecast is absolute free on the internet. The attached program is designed to teach school children and the public how to use this free information and be able to make forecasts exactly like the professional meteorologists do.
School children, all ages, are very excited by the study of meteorology. Unfortunately, not the way it is taught in the schools today, but by making meteorology “come alive”.
This program is divided into three sections, one for Kindergarten through 3rd Grade. A second section for 4th through 6th grade and finally for 7th Grade through 12th Grade. A Practical Meteorology book is included, followed by activities for the youngsters to do. Activities include Teacher Guides because many teachers are not familiar with Meteorology and are therefore reluctant to tackle such a program.
This program was so success in Lakeland High School that many students went on to get their Doctorates in Meteorology and currently hold very prestigious positions in Meteorology around the United States. I have included just a few. See EARLY-DAYS.htm When one program can produce this many outstanding students, the program must have its merits. What it takes is for someone to try it. I learned from my students. Why not let them work with you so everyone learns.
After showing students how to do simple tasks on the web page in school, give them simple assignments to do at home.
Never under estimate the value of education! Yes, education is expensive but ignorance is even more so.
Get the youngsters involved. They will learn a lot and enjoy it while they are learning.