A class at Cumberland Trace Elementary School did more than just study science Friday – the students saw it in action as a Western Kentucky University professor demonstrated weather concepts.
Josh Durkee, an assistant meteorology professor, visited Lisa Kelton’s second-grade class.
“We’ve been studying weather and changes in the Earth,” Kelton said.
When she found out one of her students was the son of a meteorology professor, she thought having him visit would be a great opportunity for the children to enhance what they’ve learned.
“It makes it more real to them,” Kelton said.
It’s also important for students to see all kinds of job types and opportunities available to them, she said. Her students have also seen a microbiologist, police officer and karate demonstration.
Durkee said he gets to make only a couple of school visits each year, but he enjoys them.
“I think a lot of people grow up scared of science and they don’t realize it can be fun,” he said. “It’s good to get them used to that idea at a young age.”
Durkee taught the children about high and low pressure from the atmosphere using a basketball as the Earth and pieces of paper as the atmosphere. He also showed them how to make a barometer by putting a straw through a 2-liter bottle.
But the children’s favorite part seemed to be when Durkee brought out a MegaZooka, a toy air cannon that shoots out air and demonstrates how wind is made.
“This is what the atmosphere does every day,” Durkee told students.
Maya Ganesh, 7, said the MegaZooka was definitely her favorite part, because it was funny to see people’s reaction as they had air shot at them and watch their hair blow.
“I thought it was cool and Dr. Durkee explained things really good,” Maya said.
She’s enjoyed all the visitors Kelton has brought into the classroom this year, she said.
“You learn something more about something,” Maya said. “It makes you interested in doing this for your job or that for your job.”