Westwind Elementary Virtual Learning Class Visits Virtually with Local Meteorologist

Petrosko said he wanted to give his students a different, more interactive way to learn virtually.

“The students were asked to come up with questions that they wanted to know about weather, climate, and jobs in the field of meteorology,” Petrosko said. “I wanted to give students an extension of these concepts by asking someone in the field to share their knowledge of weather, and weather-related professions – John at KCBD was happy to oblige. We set up for virtual meeting and, after a few reschedules related to weather, we connected on Tuesday.”

Petrosko said that Robison spoke about his experiences as a meteorologist and so much more.

“He also spoke to us about polar vortexes and how they affect the weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere and answered questions from students regarding how the weather patterns change quickly and how weather is predicted, as well as how much a meteorologist makes,” Petrosko said.

Petrosko explained that the virtual meeting was very interactive and that the questions that students formulated beforehand helped guide their own learning.

“They were excited to ask questions and learn from Mr. Robison,” Petrosko said. “In fact, I set up the meeting specifically so that they could ask questions. I encouraged them to write their questions before the meeting and we reviewed them prior as well. I wanted them to generate the questions and direct their own learning and curiosities.”

Petrosko said he was excited for his students to experience a different type of learning and to connect with people from the community that have an impact on his student’s daily lives.

“I feel like students need to experience professionals in the field they study,” Petrosko said. “These individuals are an important part of our community and students need to know that they can seek out answers from those passionate about the field. Also, the connection between actual people using the knowledge that they are trying to attain is so important. It adds relevance to their studies and creates memorable experiences with the content.”

KCBD Chief Meteorologist John Robison said he has spoken to many classes across the South Plains over the last several years. He said that even virtually he thoroughly enjoys the time with the students.

“I enjoy the interaction with students, whether the grade level is first or fifth,” Robison said. “I’d prefer to be in the room with them, but I always enjoy seeing their expressions to comments about severe or unusual weather. It’s always a ‘lift’ for me to have students glad to have me visit and their excitement about weather.”

Robison said he believes that this type of experience is beneficial for students because it helps them related to particular professions.

“I always thought that it’s good for students to see people in their professions visit their schools and do virtual visits,” Robison said. “It’s better for the students to be able to relate to a job by seeing the person talking or demonstrating the profession, no matter what the job may involve.”

Petrosko said that having Robison was very exciting for students. He said that it helped students realize that each subject they learn about in school will come in handy in the real world.

“I was able to ask Mr. Robison to talk about what areas of study are integrated in his profession,” Petrosko said. “His answer was great! He told them that reading, writing, math, climatology, history, statistics, geography, and geology were all an important part of his daily routine. I felt like this was important because often students do not make the connection or relevance to what they study. What better way to convince them what they are learning is worth-while?”