3rd Grade Outdoor and Farm Safety Day
NWS North Platte

The University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension Center and Progressive Ag sponsored the annual event at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. On Friday, April 6th, the National Weather Service in North Platte again participated in the annual 3rd Grade Outdoor and Farm Safety Day.

Shawn Jacobs and KNOP TV weatherman Tom Clements at balloon

Shawn Jacobs (arms up) and KNOP TV weatherman Tom Clements
at balloon release above

Some of the sponsored learning activities included safety subjects; such as fire safety with the Nebraska State Fire Marshall, sun safety with the West Central District Health Department, heavy machinery safety, animal safety, water safety with the North Platte Recreation Center, and weather safety as demonstrated by the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service display had several different facets for teaching kids about weather safety.

The first station was a hail demonstration, powered by a Jugs pitching machine aiming softballs at styrofoam covered pads.  The balls were thrown at these pads at 36 MPH, then the kids were shown the hail impacts.  Explanations were given about severe weather watch versus warning terminology.

Hail demonstration

Hail demonstration above, using pitching machine and softballs/impact pads
click to enlarge

SOO John Stoppkotte explains

  Science Officer John Stoppkotte explains severe weather terms & weather safety
click to enlarge

The second station involved the upper air program, explaining how radiosondes worked to transmit atmospheric data for use in computer modeling and forecasting.  The children helped assemble their own helium powered balloons, with a tag representing the radiosonde components.  Mass releases were conducted by each school group of kids as they came through the display.

Shawn  Jacobs & Cory Martin explain upper air program

Shawn Jacobs & Cory Martin explain the upper air program
click to enlarge

After the balloons were released with much joy by the children - a surprise weather quiz was held.  The classes were split into two groups who did their best to answer weather questions from NWS staff members. All the kids ended up as winners as they were presented with NWS weather visors for their participation.

Visor rewards

NWS Meteorologist Shawn Jacobs presents well earned visors to the kids above
click to enlarge

Balloons sail into the grey morning skies

Balloons sail into the grey morning skies after release

Page composition
Steve Carmel

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