WSA Students Learn About Extreme Weather by Becoming Meteorologists

     Published on 3/23/16   Tagged under:    District News    Academics    Westside Academy at Blodgett   

Sixth grade students in Heather Bermingham’s science classes became meteorologists in a fun experiment designed to help them learn about extreme weather.
 
Ms. Bermingham, also a SyraFuse Fellow, said she was prompted to try the project after she learned about a green screen app in the first SyraFuse professional development session. “Students have been super into this project,” she explained. “A lot of them found this much more engaging than the typical research paper or test, and the opportunity to create something tangible and lasting and use technology really grabbed their interest. One of the kids was talking to me about hurricanes and suddenly said ‘Hey, I’m not even looking at my notes! I actually know this!’”
 
In small groups, students researched an extreme weather event—anything from a tornado to a hurricane to a tsunami, blizzard, avalanche and more—and then wrote a script. They described the effects of the weather, safety tips for surviving the weather, where the weather might happen and more. With a script completed, they recorded their alert as meteorologists do, standing in front of a green screen.
 
“I really liked working on it,” Chris Smith said. “I like being on camera! I never knew that in a tornado, there can be up to 100 mile per hour winds!”
 
“I learned that hurricanes can go at least 75 miles per hour,” Ashanty Bayton said. “After we record our videos, we’ll learn how to use the green screen to add weather in the background. It’s been fun!”
 
Students selected a video clip to show in the background of their report, and Ms. Bermingham edited the final piece together using iMovie and the Do Ink Green Screen app.
 
“Next time around, I’d really like the kids to be hands on with the editing of the video itself. A lot of them would enjoy the editing process!” she added.
 
Thank you to Ms. Bermingham for creating such an innovative project to help her students learn!