October 1, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
61°F

Talkin’ about the weather at Isham Elementary School

WADSWORTH — The weather of the world was a hot topic Tuesday morning at Isham Elementary School.

About 400 kids in kindergarten through fourth grade participated in a program designed to teach them about the weather, such as what makes a cloud and why weather travels west to east in the United States. The event was organized by the Center of Science and Industry of Columbus.

Perrin Shepherd, left, an outreach educator with the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, talks about weather Tuesday morning with a group of first- and second-graders and teachers in the gymnasium of Isham Elementary School in Wadsworth. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY STEVE GRAZIER)

“Weather is why we have snow and school closings and determines how we dress every day,” said Perrin Shepherd, an outreach educator with the science center. “It impacts our farmers, fishing and vacations.”

Shepherd and a group of volunteers shared a plethora of weather knowledge with the students. Some specifics offered were that it takes cool air, water and dust to form a cloud, and the rotation of the earth on its axis causes wind and weather patterns to move west to east in North America.

Pupils were taught “precipitation” in weather terms refers to rain, snow or hail.

The science center is a museum that features more than 300 interactive exhibits that provide experiences combining science facts and learning through play for children and adults. Museum educators often travel throughout Ohio and parts of Indiana to inform schoolchildren about weather.

“Today is about teaching children — using hands-on experimentation — about science, technology, engineering and math,” Isham Principal Nance Watts said.

Students went from station to station in the school gym to plot wind currents using a weather map, witness live lighting bolts in a bottle via electronic gadgetry and identify cirrus, stratus and cumulonimbus clouds in photographs. They also placed their arms in a vacuum tube to experience air pressure.

Tuesday’s weather program was sponsored by a $5,000 grant via Clinical Research Management Inc. of Medina County, which supports clinical research solutions and product development, Watts said.

About $2,000 of the grant will fund a second portion of the program in April to construct a weather station outside of the school, Watts said. Students will use the station to measure daily precipitation and record wind direction.

In addition to the station, students will plant flowers this spring on school grounds and help develop food stations and water baths for birds, she said.

Contact reporter Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.