Meeting a Storm Chaser!


In my current position, or should I say positions(I wear many hats) I get to see a lot of exciting activities.  In addition to being the Director of Technology Integration for Propel Schools, I am the science coordinator.  I am the SOS or Specialist on Site.  I believe that this was due to my knowledge and experiences that I had through my years of teaching elementary and middle school science in 2 previous jobs.

Our district implements ASSET Science which is an Inquiry-based, hands-on science curriculum.  Many of you may be familiar with the FOSS curriculum which is very similar to Asset. If you do, you know that it is hands-on and comes in a kit.  If you do teach either FOSS or Asset, here is a great resource for you to use. Another component of Asset is the use of Carolina resources in addition to the Foss kits.

While at Propel East, I stopped into a classroom teaching a Catastrophic Events unit. In this unit students investigate the causes and effects of thunderstorms, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. Global heating, the water cycle, plate motion, plate tectonics, magma, ash, and effects on the atmosphere are studied in depth.  On this day, there was no lab, no small groups, no experiments, but rather a very interesting, engaging, and intriguing guest speaker named Mara Falk.

At first glance, Mara seemed like just another guest speaker until she began to tell her stories of being a Storm Chaser with Discovery. She talked about how she had interviewed for a job that just turned out to be an extreme weather show on the Discovery Channel called, “Stormchasers.”  Her stories were captivating, telling how she was the driver of the scout(storm chasing vehicle) and how every second was of such importance.  Watching the student’s engagement while she talked what was interesting to me, as 100% of the children were engaged and posed such great questions for Mara. One story she mentioned was of an elderly man who wanted to wait out a particular storm.  On this particular day, it was not a great idea as the storm was very intense and had started to rip through his house.  Lucky for him, the force of the winds through his house took him to his bathroom where he was thrown into the bathtub with the door forcefully falling on top of the tub.  This miracle in disquise saved this elderly man’s life as his entire house crumbled on top of this bathtub. 

With this said, I cannot believe that our school was fortunate enough to have this guest speaker come to speak to our children. 

Now….here is the cool part.  Since you are reading this, you are probably a teacher who has access to Discovery Streaming.  If you do a keyword seach for Storm Chasers, you will see various videos from the Storm Chasers series as well as other teaching materials you will find useful.


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