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Weather Academy visits Shawnee Elementary

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WOLF LAKE (WSIL) -- Students at Shawnee Elementary School have a particular interest in how weather is going to effect their favorite part of the day - recess.

"We come and we actually start with calendar. We talk about the day. We talk about what's happening outside, talk about weather. Sometimes, when it comes to recess, that's a big question for first grade. 'Why can't we go outside?'"

First grade teacher Kiri Lomax says that students begin their morning by checking on what's going on outside.

"A lot of times we send someone out there to test the ground, feel it a little bit, because we have to see it so we have to be hands-on in first grade. Sometimes they feel the slide and touch the ground a little bit to let the rest of the class know why we can't go out today, or what is exciting about going out today if it's sunny."

Students aren't only learning about how the weather impacts their day, but also its role in the environment.

"Right now we have 23 plants growing in the classroom on the windowsill. My son gathered a bunch of acorns outside right before it started to get cold, and so we brought it to school and we planted them, and some of them are growing at different speeds and rates, and some of them have leaves, and some of them are starting to bend towards the light."

"At the time, I didn't know a lot about plants. I learned how plants grow, and I learned about all the soil and stuff," says fourth grader Brody Maeser.

Second grade teacher Kelly McKinney says one of the students' favorite ways to learn is through hands-on activities.

"We do in science, we have days that we just do the book work, and then we have days that we do the experiments. And you can definitely tell that they are a lot more excited when we do the experiments days. They're really hands-on they love to learn that way."

Maeser says he not only enjoys science, but he also like learning about the weather.

"I like it because it does have a lot of weather and stuff like that, and I'm really into the weather, energy and, like, matter and all that kind of stuff. It's really fun."

"I'm really into tornadoes. That's my main favorite part about weather."

Due to COVID-19, the Weather Academy has been suspended until further notice but will continue share their most recent adventures. Next week, it will feature Lewis Elementary School in Carbondale.

John Ross

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