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    TV9 First Alert Storm Team Weather Lab Blog!

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  • Josh Visits Reinbeck Elementary

    With the help of GPS in the KCRG-TV9 Mobile Weather Lab, I made my way through Iowa's beautiful countryside (which included a farmer aready harvesting corn) to Reinbeck to speak to the 3rd grade about the basics of weather and what to do when it gets bad. One of the topics we discussed was the water cycle. For them, it was a review because they have been studying it in class. In fact, they have a quiz on it next week!

    After seeing the clothing of some of the students, I could tell there was a good mix of Iowa State Cyclone and Iowa Hawkeye fans. Many were excited for tomorrow's big in-state rivalry football game in Iowa City.

  • Josh Visits the Arc of East Central Iowa's Summer Camp

    Recently, I visited the Arc of East Central Iowa's Summer Camp at Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids. I spoke to about 80 "campers" about the how clouds form, the sun, thunderstorms, tornadoes and I did a few experiments. After I sucked a water balloon into a flask, I got a round of applause. That is always fun!

    They were a fun bunch and I enjoyed speaking to them.

    Thanks Arc!

  • Josh Visits Mechanicsville

    Recently, I visited North Cedar Elementary in Mechanicsville to speak to students who take part in the Kids Club Learning Center during the summer.  We talked about the basics of weather and what to do when it gets bad.  They were a fun bunch!


  • Josh Visits Viola Gibson

    July 9, 2010

    Today I headed to the Five Seasons Learning Center at Viola Gibson Elementary in Cedar Rapids and spoke to the summer camp.  We gathered in the media center and went through many aspects of weather, including the sun, the water cycle, high and low pressure, fronts and what to do when severe weather is happening.  I conducted a few experiments as well, including the sucking of a water balloon into a flask.  I got an applause after that one!

    The campers had great questions and I was happy to answer them.  I think they are experts on the subject of tornadoes at this point!

    Thanks to Gina Ebel for the invite!

  • Josh Visits the Salvation Army

    July 7, 2010

    Today I visited the Salvation Army's Summer Day Camp which runs 9 weeks in the summer.  Every week they have a different theme and this week's theme was weather, so I joined them to talk about the basics of weather and what to do when it gets bad.  We covered many things, including how clouds form, how far away the sun is from Earth and I did my infamous weather experiments too.

    They were a great bunch and I had a good time!

    Thanks for the invite Salvation Army!


  • Justin Visits Shellsburg Public Library

    June 30, 2010

    I took a spin up the road to Shellsburg to give a Weather Academy presentation at the library!  I've never been to Shellsburg, and it was neat coming down the hill into town, going across the creek and past the park.  Teri, the Youth Librarian, tells me that the park sustained major damage from flash flooding a couple years ago.  Thankfully, the weather was great for the kids and parents who came on down.

    I spent the time talking about all the different sorts of water in our atmosphere - rain, snow, clouds, and so on - and how it all happens and affects us.  Of course, the kids (and parents!) had plenty of questions for me, including some really thoughtful ones about rivers and how they flow.  One little girl was a little nervous to ask her question directly to me at first - instead, her little stuffed animal needed to talk to me first, but she eventually warmed up to talking to the weatherman.

    It was a fun time at the Shellsburg Library and I thank them for having me over!

  • Josh Visits Caring Corner

    June 23, 2010


    This morning, I took the TV9 Stormteam Weather Academy to Caring Corner in Marion.  As the rain fell outside, I talked about how rain forms by teaching them about the water cycle.  Water in its gaseous form is not the easiest thing to explain, but I think they understand.  They definitely understood that we need the water cycle in order to eat food!

    As usual, I did a few experiments, including sucking a water balloon into a flask to demonstrate high and low pressure.  That one always gets a good reaction.

    Thanks Caring Corner for having me!

  • Josh Visits CPU Elementary

    May 21, 2010

    This morning, I made my annual trip to Center Point-Urbana Elementary school in Center Point and hung out with all the Kindergarten class. As always, it was fun! The youngsters love to hear about the weather and we read a book too. Today's book was Storm is Coming, which is about some farm animals who are told to go to the barn because "storm" is coming, but none of them know what storm is. They think it is a mean person.

    We also talked about what to do when strong storms and tornadoes happen. I ensured them that the chance of their home ever getting damaged from a tornado is very small, but it is important to know what to do if one ever happens.

    Thanks CPU!

  • Josh Visits Lakeview Elementary

    Today, I stopped by Lakeview Elementary in Solon to speak to the 2nd grade. The assembly included a few experiments, which the students really seemed to enjoy. Anytime you light a match, young people tend to be in awe. Besides experiments, we talked about what to do in the event of a tornado. The thing I always say is "Get As Low As You Can Go!" That will apply wherever you are in the event of one.

    I was a little late thanks to construction on the Shueyville/Swisher. I had to take a little detour!

    Thanks Lakeview!

  • Josh Visits Peosta Elementary

    Yesterday, I took the KCRG-TV9 Mobile Weather Lab to Peosta Elementary in Dubuque County and spoke to the 2nd grade about the weather. We discussed the water cycle, played a little football (to demonstrate how far away the sun is from Earth) and talked about what to do when the weather gets bad. We gather in the library, which had little stage area. It was cool!

    Thanks to Ms. Griner for the invite!

  • Joe Visits Wilkins Elementary

    May 6, 2010

    I took the TV-9 Storm Team Weather Academy to Wilkins Elementary in Marion to talk with the 2nd graders.  We talked about what causes the air to move around the Earth, high and low pressure, what to do in the event of severe weather and discussed what it takes to become a meteorologist.  The students were facinated by severe weather and had many great questions.  I even shared my Mac and Cheese recipe with them.  I hope the like it.  Thanks for having me at Wilkins.

  • Joe Visits St. Mary's in Manchester

    May 5, 2010

    I took the TV-9 Storm Team Weather Academy to the St. Mary's in Manchester to talk to the 5th graders.  We talked about what causes the air to move around the Earth, high and low pressure, what to do in the event of severe weather and discussed what it takes to become a meteorologist.  We even took a tour of the First Alert Mobile Weather Lab.  They had great questions and were very excited to learn about severe weather safety.

  • Justin Visits Marion Head Start

    May 6, 2010

    I visited a few of the classrooms at the Marion Head Start on Tuesday.  It's always amazing how full of energy the little kids are in the morning!  Of course, they were very attentive when I read them the story Storm is Coming.  The second group I talked to actually had the book already in their classroom, so the story was more of a review for them!  Anyway, it's a great book for younger kids since they tend to be kind of scared of storms, and the story is fun and a good lesson on how they can be less afraid of storms.

    They all also really enjoyed going outside in the beautiful weather to see the Mobile Weather Lab!  They were amazed by the big wheels (one boy commented that it looked like a monster truck) and thought it was all pretty cool.

    Thanks to the folks at Marion Head Start for having me!

  • Josh Visits Lambert Elementary

    May 6, 2010

    I recently visited Lambert Elementary in Manchester and took the 3rd grade through the TV9 Stormteam Weather Academy.  It was a lot of fun and we even got to meet in their new commons area.  The students, which totaled about 100, were great and had lots of questions.  One of the things I touched on was the classification of tornadoes and how they are each rated.  Of course now we have the Enhanced Fujita Scale that ranges from EF0 to EF5, with EF5 being the strongest tornado with winds of at least 200 mph.


  • Josh Goes to Francis Marion Intermediate

    April 29, 2010

    Today I traveled to Marion and spoke to Mrs. Wicke's 4th grade class at Francis Marion Intermediate School.  We chatted about some of the basics of weather, including the sun, the water cycle, air pressure and I did a few experiments too, which they thought were cool thank goodness!  We also talked about what to do in the event of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.  The students had great questions!

    After talking in the classroom, we headed out to see the KCRG-TV9 First Alert Mobile Weather Lab.

    Thanks to Mrs. Wicke for the invite (who just so happens to be my sister-in-law)!

  • Josh Visits Prairie Ridge Elementary

    April 22, 2010

    Thursday I visited the Preschool through 4th grade at Prairie Ridge Elementary in Cedar Rapids.  We filled most of the library twice with two different groups and we had a lot of fun!  I even got a few students to play a little football with me.  Luckily for me, they were able to catch my "duck" throws.

    I spoke to the groups about the water cycle, did a few experiments, including the always popular sucking a water balloon into a flask, and or course, severe weather safety!

    Notice the picture of the dog?  I'd like you to meet Taxi.  Taxi is a therapy dog that hangs out at the school.  The guidance counselor owns her and takes her home at night, but during the day, she is helping the students.  If someone is having a rough day, Taxi is there to help.  If someone needs help reading, Taxi is there to help.  I hung out with her for a while and I must say, she was a very cool dog.  She has very well-behaved and sweet as can be.  She even joined us for the Weather Academy.

    Thanks Prairie Ridge!

  • Josh Visits Westfield Elementary

    April 12, 2010

    Wednesday I had a chance to speak to the 2nd graders at Westfield Elementary in Robins, which is part of the Linn-Mar Community School District.  We went over how the water cycle works and also touched on what to do when there is severe weather.  One student went as far as coming up to the board afterwards to show me how tornadoes form and he did very well!

    Thanks to Ms. Kuchera for the invite!


  • Josh Speaks at St. Paul's FOCUS

    Earlier today, I visited the FOCUS group at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids. We talked about the water cycle and what to do in the event of severe weather. We also read a book! The was called Storm is Coming and it is about farm animals who gather in a barn to take cover from a bad storm.

    Thanks to Tami Melcher for the invite!

  • Josh Goes to Bernard Elementary

    I recently stopped by Bernard Elementary and spoke to the Kindergarten class and the First grade.  As soon as I walked in the classroom, I was greeted by the weather page of KCRG.com on the wall!  The class uses the website for their daily weather reports.  How cool is that?

    After hearing about how they use KCRG.com, I started in on talking about the water cycle and how the sun interacts with large bodies of water to produce rain.  Beyond that, I did a few weather experiments and then talked what to do about severe weather.  I preached my usual "Get As Low As You Can Go" when it comes to severe storms and tornadoes.  That saying can apply to wherever you are, basement or no basement.

    Special thanks to Ms. Noonan for the invite!


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