148 The Young Meteorologist Program supporting a Weather Ready Nation

Monday, 7 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Ron Gird, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and K. A. Murphy and B. Thomas

The PLAN!T NOW organization has created the Young Meteorologist Program (YMP) an interactive, engaging online game asking students in elementary, middle and high school to follow the 21st-century National Weather Service Owl, Owlie Skywarn, on an adventure encountering hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, floods, and winter storms. Along the way, players are taught about severe weather science and safety lessons. Embedded into the game are test questions and activities, which players must answer successfully in order to proceed. Upon successful completion of the game, the student will earn the coveted Young Meteorologist certificate. The game has been beta-tested with middle school students. The YMP seeks to boost science, math, reading skills, and student achievement by awarding each successful game player a beautifully crafted, printable certificate upon completing the game. Thus, YMP engages students with the weather sciences and encourages them by charting advancements through clear, measurable goals. The Young Meteorologist Program provides opportunities for students to put their newly acquired knowledge to work through launching community service projects, build a weather station, promote NOAA WeatherRadio, the NWS Weather Ready Nation campaign and help build more resilient storm ready communities. The motto of YMP and the Plan!T NOW is: “Disaster Happens When Preparation Doesn't.”
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