Seminole Science Charter School educating next generation of hurricane trackers

Students tiptoe into forecasting realm by plotting past storms on maps

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Students at Seminole Science Charter School are giving students a taste of what it is like to forecast a hurricane. They are using real-life weather events to learn about tropical weather.

"I think when we actually have real actual events happening within our universe and when it's happening with weather, first of all, students can see that, and they can observe that," science teacher Ramona Lataille said. "Once they see these observations, they actually can apply that scientific method and they can go a little deeper and learn so much more."

Lataille's advance earth space science students spent time plotting latitude and longitude of past storms on maps. Lataille said while they don't go deep into forecasting methods, they do learn the basic ingredients for tropical development.

"We learned that hurricanes form in warm water and once they get to cooler water they kind of slow down," student Kallista Hill said.

The class is also challenged to construct models of structures meant to withstand hurricane-force winds. The structures were then tested by a fan. Lataille said it's important for students to learn forecasting is not an exact science.

"And not only does it happen when it comes to storms, but it's a life concept they have to learn," she said.

Seminole Science Charter School is a STEM-focused Seminole County school serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

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