Discovering Mother Nature
New museum offers a look into our weather
With the recent weather disasters, everyone has paid a bit more attention to Mother Nature. At Houston’s new Weather Museum, you can learn about the science behind weather formation and the development of storms. We never know what type of severe weather we may encounter, so this museum offers a look at them all.
A project of the Weather Research Center, a nonprofit organization hoping to curtail lost lives and property due to severe weather and poor communication to the public, the museum opened its doors last month. In addition to teaching the public about weather formation and patterns, the museum aims to teach students how math and science are used in the real world. The goal is that more students will realize the advantages of learning about math and science – and the fun and exciting things you can do with them.
The Weather Museum recognizes that knowledge is the best protection against the dangers of severe weather. In the Touch A Tornado area, you can see a 6-foot-tall tornado form before your eyes. The Hurricane in the Round exhibit exposes the dangers of hurricanes and their nature. Even common thunderstorms can produce dangerous conditions. The Lights-Sounds-Action: Lightning-Thunder-Wind-Hail exhibit educates visitors about thunderstorm safety. Interactive computers will show the growth and maturity of thunderstorms, as well as their power.
Back to the basics
In the Weather Wizards Corner, you can learn about how weather works. This interactive exhibit features a local meteorologist performing various weather experiments. At the Rain, Rain Go Away! exhibit, you create a flash flood on a tabletop and are taught how to protect yourself if you ever find yourself in one’s path. Storm surges are also explained in this exciting area. Don’t miss the It’s a Scorcher! and the It’s Cold Outside! exhibits, which expose the dangers of extreme heat and cold, as well as the ins and outs of heat indexes and wind chills.
The past and the future
Take a look back at weather forecasting’s infancy. The Weather Forecasting Through History area explores the tools of weather forecasting of generations past, including a room replicating a World War II weather office.
Ever consider being a TV weatherman? At the Be Your Own Weatherman exhibit, you can stand in front of the blue screen and give it a go. It even includes a camera to record your weather forecast. Not all meteorologists are TV weather personalities. In the What Do Meteorologists Do? exhibit, you discover the many careers available to meteorologists and what different universities have to offer.
Ways to learn
The Weather Museum and Weather Research Center offer a variety of educational programs for children and adults, alike. Summer weather camps, special talks and various demonstrations offer an array of opportunities. High school and college students studying meteorology can benefit from internships that the Weather Museum offers. Adult tours and programs designed for teachers are also available. – Christi Phillips