Fourth-graders at Wolf Branch Elementary School in Swansea got a lesson in weather Tuesday from News Channel 5 meteorologist Bree Smith.
Smith talked to a 100 fourth-graders about what a meteorologist does and what type of jobs a meteorologist can have.
"If you want to be a meteorologist, there's a lot of places to work," Smith said. "We work very closely with meteorologists at the National Weather Service."
Being a meteorologist, she said takes "lots and lots and lots of math."
Smith and the fourth graders developed a three-day weather forecast using a computer program. Smith talked to the students about the difference between a cold and warm front and how the weather in the United States moves from west to east.
"We do two things: try to predict the future and communicate what's happening right now," she said.
Smith admitted sometimes meteorologists "get it wrong if a front slows down or speeds up." She said Channel 5 updates its forecast twice a day.
"Our primary responsibility is to help people and keep people safe," Smith said.
Fourth-grade teacher Patti Wittenauer said Smith's visit coincided with reading the story, "Eye of the Storm," which follows a real storm chaser through his ordeal with Hurricane Andrew.
Smith said each of the five meteorologists at Channel 5 visits between 20 and 30 schools every year to talk to students about weather.
During a question and answer session, one student asked Smith "what's the hardest thing to predict?" Smith's response, "Snow."
Thirteen-year-old Jashira Bolden of Belleville has been named an Illinois top youth volunteer by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a national program honoring middle and high school students for volunteer service. Jashira will receive $1,000,an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Jashira, an eighth-grader at Unity Lutheran Christian School in East St. Louis, was honored for conducting a series of fundraisers to benefit five homeless shelters.
The program also recognized eight distinguished finalists from Illinois including Michael Bryant Powell, 18, of Belleville, who will receive an engraved bronze medallion. The Belleville West High School senior embarked on an Eagle Scout project to raise more than $2,300 to provide 150 copies of the book "Maybe Days" to school libraries and faculty in an effort to help foster children succeed in school.
Belleville West High School's Harambee, an organization that promotes African-American history and encourages cultural diversity, is hosting its annual show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Performing Arts Center. This year's theme is "Believe in Yourself: Be You." The show will feature African dance, praise dance and hip hop dance, according to alumni sponsor Audrey Smith of Shiloh. "It's really a nice show," she said.
Smith said the 100 students in the club and sponsor Carnetta Chalmers, an English teacher at West, have worked hard on the program. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. Smith said the organization is raising funds to take its members on a trip to Washington, D.C. Students at West will enjoy a sneak peak of the Harambee show with performances at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Smith said the show will also travel to local elementary schools.
The Illinois Liquor Control Commission is sponsoring its first "Don't Be Sorry" youth art contest, and the deadline for entering submissions is 5 p.m. Friday. The commission is seeking contest applicants to submit a logo and slogan. The winning designs and slogans will be showcased on a variety of materials for distribution throughout the state this spring. All contest forms and more information can be found online at www.DontBeSorry.org.
Ss. Peter and Paul School in Collinsville is hosting a Valentine's Trivia Night Fundraiser on Saturday in the school gymnasium. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and trivia will begin at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person or $100 for a table of eight. Guests may bring their own drinks and snacks. For more information, contact Maggie Grotefendt at 618-977-6125 or Renee Crowder at 618-918-9213.
Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey is hosting a workshop to help students complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday in Haskell Hall, Room 225. Participants should bring their 2012 financial information and identification. The FAFSA, which can be filled out at www.fafsa.ed.gov, determines need for aid. Participants can come anytime during the event.
At the Illinois High School Association Sectional Speech and Acting competition Saturday in Charleston, Belleville West placed second out of 20 schools, just one point behind Carbondale High School. Cardondale finished with 49 points, and Belleville West had 48. The following students qualified for the IHSA State tournament this weekend in Peoria: seniors Cody Essien, Lauren Jones, Taylor Keel (in two events), and Conner LaVelle, junior Kole Schlich (in two events), and sophomore Bethany Dain. West also qualified for the state tournament in Performance in the Round.
Area elementary school students will enjoy interactive theatrical performances by The National Theatre for Children in an effort to teach kids and their parents how to be more aware of their water usage. Sponsored by Illinois American Water, the tour will run through Feb. 28 and stop at 14 schools in the metro-east including at Whiteside Elementary School in Belleville, Dunbar Elementary School in East St. Louis, St. Mary-St. Augustine School in Belleville, Niedringhaus School in Granite City and St. Teresa Grade School in Belleville.
St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Smithton plans to develop an outdoor garden classroom with a $1,000 Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant it recently was awarded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Conservation Foundation.
Students at Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Belleville raised $590 for the Belleville Area Humane Society during several fundraisers held as part of Catholic Schools Week. Principal Sharon Needham said the money raised through a bake sale, pizza lunch and free dress day is enough to feed 200 animals for a period of three weeks.
Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Waterloo held it's annual school spelling bee Feb. 6. Eighth grader Shane Douglas was crowned spelling bee champion. Shane retains the title of champion after winning the school spelling bee the last three years. The runner-up was eighth grader Joey Green.
During Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Feb. 5, the MLK Humanitarian Scholarship was awarded to East St. Louis native and SIUE student Demetrius Coleman, a senior majoring in English language and literature. As a resident assistant, he used his conflict resolution skills to mediate students with differing opinions and backgrounds through SIUE University Housing. Andrew Bruce, a senior at Belleville West High School, was awarded the high school visual arts award.
The sixth-grade class from Immaculate Conception School in Columbia visited the U.S. Courthouse Feb. 1 in St. Louis. The students attended a naturalization ceremony where 52 people representing 24 different countries took the oath of allegiance and became naturalized citizens of the United States. The students were also able to meet with a federal judge and a U.S. marshal and watch a court proceeding. "The students really learned a lot," Principal Michael L. Kish said.
Do you have an item for Education Matters or an education-related story tip? We want to know about it. Send your ideas to Jamie Forsythe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 239-2562.