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Your Weekend Weather - on a Flip Camera

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Keywords: Flip Video, Meteorology, Weekend Weather, Video
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Earth Science, Journalism
Grade 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Marymount School of New York, New York, NY
Planned By: Eric Walters
Original Author: Eric Walters, New York
Class: Atmospheric Science
Grade Level: 12

One key curricular objective for my Atmospheric Science course is to understand the physical and dynamic processes that that influence local weather and climate. To promote “inquiry-based” learning in the class, student forecast groups research, write and produce a short, thirty-second to one minute video weekend weather forecast for our school in New York and for our sister school in Los Angeles.

The class is divided up into forecast teams of three and assigned a spot in a six-week rotation to complete their forecast. The forecasting process is as follows:

1. Teams use current weather information (surface map, satellite images and radar maps) along with numerical forecasting models (found on weather.gov).
2. Each team researches and writes their forecast for New York City and for Los Angeles for the forecast period of Friday through Sunday for their forecast week.
3. The written forecast includes an introduction, specific forecast details (weather conditions, maximum temperature) for the forecast period and an extended forecast.
4. The written forecast is uploaded to the iPrompter App on the iPad.
5. Students record each forecast using a Flip video camera.
6. The video clips are then uploaded into iMovie. The clips are edited, appropriate text and transitions added, and the final project is exported to Quicktime. Due to time constraints, this is done by the teacher.
7. The final video segments are uploaded to the class Youtube account. Announcements are sent by email to the students and staff at our school and at our sister school.
8. On Monday, the team debriefs to see if their forecast was correct and, if not, why it might have been in error.

The students learn
1. Basic journalism skills - how to write a forecast, how to write for the media
2. Basic and advanced forecasting skills
3. Media ethics - how "alarmist" can you get when a significant weather event is approaching
4. Problem solving and decision making - the students cannot simply look up the forecast on weather.com
5. Videography skills - proper lighting and sound, use of "cue cards" and teleprompters
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
For next year, will work with the Speech teacher to improve student video presentations.
Students, on the following Monday, verify their forecast.
Materials: Flip Video