Lesson brings study of weather, meteorologist to class

Bellefonte Area School District  |  Posted on

Through a lesson on weather and climate, student teacher Gabrielle Renaud was able to connect with a meteorologist from Philadelphia to bring real lessons to class that later helped students create their own forecasts.

Renaud, a Penn State student who works with fourth-grade teacher Stacey Miller at Pleasant Gap Elementary School, said the unit consisted of topics including tornadoes, hurricanes, wind, clouds, weather fronts and meteorology. Students also had the chance to complete experiments and activities such as making their own wind vane, which created a tornado in a bottle. They also tested the heating and cooling rates of water and soil, and created a cloud in a jar.

This led to further meteorology lessons where students read about different weather tools such as weather planes, balloons and satellites, and Radar dishes. They also learned firsthand how these tools are used by meteorologists to help predict weather forecasts.

Television meteorologist Monica Cryan of PHL17 in Philadelphia joined the class virtually to talk about life as a meteorologist, and natural disasters she has covered, different types of clouds, different weather tools she uses, and the importance of math and science as it relates to meteorology. Students then asked questions including her favorite natural disasters to cover, if she has ever used a weather balloon before, and if she has ever been storm-chasing. This all helped students prepare to create their own weather report using the knowledge they learned during the unit.

Renaud said she connected with Cryan about a month ago to complement lessons from the unit. They also share a hometown in Bucks County and attended Penn State together.