CAP & GOWN Project students learn about meteorology

The Weather Authority
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One of my favorite school visits of the year happens in the summer, when I visit participants of the CAP and GOWN Project.

Created during the 2013-2104 school year, local teachers volunteer their time and resources to Create Academic Pathways and Guide Others Wherever Needed, which is the essence of the CAP and GOWN Project.

The CAP & GOWN Project's goal is to prepare underrepresented students in Huntsville City Schools to graduate from college and boost the human capital of North Alabama.

In the summer, they organize The STEM Summer Institute to expose students to opportunities they otherwise wouldn't get.

That's where I come in.

A daily forecast that students see on TV may last 2 to 3 minutes, but over an hour's worth of meteorological analysis and scientific assessment goes into a forecast. During severe weather, more time and attention is given to the forecast as well as the immediate future, known as "nowcasting". As part of my presentation, I show students the different layers of the atmosphere as well as locating the jet stream, areas of high/low pressure, and how to analyze weather features on satellite and radar.

This is all part of the goal for the students, who are ultimately spending the summer working toward their futures by practicing for the ACT and learning about different careers within Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The program also gets students out and about in the community and on the road, visiting colleges. For those who are interested in meteorology, I highly recommend the University of Alabama Huntsville's Severe Weather Institute Radar and Lightning Laboratories, right here in the heart of Huntsville.

Outside of the Tennessee Valley, I also recommend the meteorology programs at Mississippi State University, the University of South Alabama, the Georgia Institute of Technology (my alma mater), the University of Georgia, Florida State University, the University of Oklahoma, and the Pennsylvania State University.


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