A special treat was in store for first graders visited by a meteorologist, as the students were able to ask an expert first hand about what they are studying in the classroom.They learned more about different types of weather and weather safety when NBC Charlotte Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich sat down with then in the school’s library.
Panovich was not the only meteorologist in the room First grade teacher Scotty Powell is also a meteorologist, and a friend of Panovich. Powell wanted his students to hear about Panovich’s firsthand experiences like chasing tornadoes and working at the television station.
“No matter what career you are talking about, a teacher can only tell you about it — but once you have a professional come in, they can tell the students about what they see day-to-day,” said Powell. “For example, many people don’t realize the math that is involved in forecasting the weather. The least little change in a variable can throw off your forecast.
“It brings the real world into the classroom and gives the students a hands-on approach about a possible career they might pursue. It is an excellent way to bring in 21st century skills.”
Powell said also that Panovich has a special connection to the school, and that his visit was meaningful.
“Brad had a key role in alerting those who were affected by the tornado that hit the George Hildebrand community in January, 2012,” said Powell. “It was kind of a way for the students to see a face that may have saved their lives during that tragic event.”
After arriving at the school library, Panovich sat down with the group of students and introduced himself. He explained that he grew up in Ohio and that he has been interested in studying weather from an early age.
“When I was six years old, we had this huge blizzard. There was so much snow that we couldn’t open the front door of our house, and my dad had to climb out the first-story window and dig it out the front door,” said Panovich. “I remember my mom putting all my snow gear on … and I went outside. Imagine the snow being about six feet deep … and I remember walking through this tunnel and being mesmerized by all of it.