Anybody remember the 1996 film Twister? No? Well, I don’t blame you, but I may never forget the day I watched 42 minutes of it in my middle school science class. We never finished it, so I didn’t get to find out whether the least memorable astronaut from Apollo 13 (Bill Paxton, the good guy) beat Westley from A Princess Bride (Cary Elwes, the bad guy) to that F5 (super big and dangerous) tornado they were chasing. But the film’s premise, if not its plot, ignited my imagination and has made me curious about real-life storm chasers ever since.
Public service announcement for teachers: if you want to get your students excited scientific adventurers–in particular, those meteorological detectives known as storm chasers–don’t have them watch Twister. Have them read Ron Miller’s book Chasing the Storm: Tornadoes, Meteorology, and Weather Watching (Twenty-First Century Books), and then use our FREE eSource activities to help them get the most out of that reading experience. We offer a Common Core-based research and writing assignment, as well as guidelines for creating your own weather station–complete with rain and wind gauges, a wind vane, a barometer to measure air pressure, a hygrometer to measure humidity, and a weather emergency kit. It’s enough to make this editor wish she was back in middle school discovering storm chasers all over again.
|As a young’un, I thought storm chasing was EPIC.
I wish this page-turner of a book and Lerner’s FREE classroom resources had been around back then,
but better late than never!