The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) hosted its third annual Weather Camp the week of June 10th, 2013. Seventeen campers—ranging from 9 to 14 years old—ventured to Lincoln, Nebraska for the weeklong camp related to all things weather and science. The camp is part of a national program that seeks to inspire students toward careers in science.
Ken Dewey, UNL professor of climatology in charge of the camp, said Weather Camp helps kids discover how to analyze data, communicate effectively and problem-solve as a team. Dewey described his campers as “scientists in the making.”
Each morning, weather campers draw forecast maps for that day; they then go outside to make daily observations and take measurements such as temperature, light, and wind speed. The students record these observations in their daily weather journals for later graphing and analysis. On one of these mornings, visitors from LI-COR witnessed boundless curiosity and wonder as campers explored their environment. Even on a cloudy day, the students found temperature differences from shading. And LI-COR radiation sensors helped them discover just how much solar radiation was still reaching the earth.
In addition to collecting and analyzing data, the campers get to go on field trips and hear from speakers on weather, weather safety and career paths in science. When asked about their favorite part of the week, one student mentioned the trip to Memorial Stadium, home of the Nebraska Huskers football team. Another was especially looking forward to visiting a weather studio on Friday afternoon.
The weeklong camp ends with the campers bringing their families in for a poster presentation from the data they collected throughout the week. The families also enjoy dinner and a variety show. Best of all, the students leave camp with a renewed enthusiasm for science.
*Photos used by permission of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Weather Camp