This was a very busy spring semester for our newly-organized NC State meteorology program outreach team. Our student representatives enjoyed meeting prospective students, hobbyists, alumni, and people who share the same passion for weather during small events on campus, at some of the NCSU AMS events, local schools, and even the Raleigh science museum!
Mr. Wes Bullock, alumni of the NCSU Meteorology program now teaching 7th grade science at McGee’s Crossroads Middle School in Benson, reached out to MEAS professor Dr. Anantha Aiyyer asking for representatives of NC State’s meteorology program to speak at the middle school’s Career Day. Dr. Aiyyer directed Mr. Bullock to the Wolfpack Meteorology team, who traveled to Benson to discuss how to prepare for a future in STEM and career options in meteorology to more than 150 students at the event. In addition to some cool videos showing some current research in the field, students also got hands-on look with an actual weather balloon and radiosonde. Wolfpack Meteorology business cards were also distributed to students that wanted to learn more about the program and contact the team with any follow up questions. More information on the science program at McGee's Crossroads Middle School can be found here.
The day following the trip to Benson, the Wolfpack Meteorology team participated in Raleigh’s Triangle SciTech Expo at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The team, equipped with laptops, computer monitors, weather balloons, and a tornado simulator provided by Dr. Jamila Simpson, NCSU College of Sciences Assistant Dean for Diversity and Student Services (and alumni of NCSU Meteorology). Per Kari Wouk, Senior Manager of Educational Collaborations at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, attendance recorded for the event was determined to reach more than 5,000 visitors of all ages including many who visited the Wolfpack Meteorology table to discuss how much they loved the weather, ask questions regarding weather phenomena, and stick their hands into the cool water vapor funnel of a tornado simulator. Having been located on the first floor of the museum, we were in a high-traffic area and were fortunate to be able to reach out to so many individuals! Our team loved being able to interact with those that stopped by the table and hope to participate in the event next year!
As the semester began to wind down, we were contacted by Kelly, a mother with a son that attended Middle Creek High School with a strong interest in meteorology. At first, the NCSU AMS chapter attempted to connect this family with some local meteorologists, but the Wolfpack Meteorology team decided to step up and provide a private tour for this family and for the families of other students at Middle Creek that also shared similar interests in meteorology. Students Schae and Kai, along with their families, got to meet a handful of NCSU meteorology students in the MEAS computer lab in Jordan Hall, explore the resources (including the broadcast room!) within Jordan Hall for meteorology students, have a discussion regarding preparation for college as a prospective meteorology student, and exploring the different career options within the field. The pictures included below were taken by Schae’s parents and were used with permission for this post. In addition to this tour, the team also introduced a recently accepted transfer student to her new home in Jordan Hall that they met during the Triangle SciTech Expo event. Sydney, we can’t wait for you to join us in the hallways of Jordan and greet you in the lab in the fall. Welcome to our family! Our group looks forward to opening our doors by the means of private tours to prospective students and their families next semester (time permitting, of course). If you have an aspiring meteorologist in the house or classroom, feel free to reach out to us!
Authors/Editors: Shaelyn McLamb, Levi Lovell, Alex Mitchell
Faculty Review Board: Dr. Jay Levine