News from the STEM Office
Posted on: May 15, 2014 08:00 EDT by USNA SWIFT
The mission of the US Naval Academy Oceanography Department's Severe Weather In-Field Training (SWIFT) is to engage midshipmen in forecasting, observing, and verifying severe convective storms.
The SWIFT team visited Stevens High School in Rapid City, South Dakota on 15 May 2014 for STEM outreach and to talk about USNA and majoring in STEM fields. The midshipmen got to speak to 3 of Dr. Andrew Smith's physics classes.
Each class contained about 20 students with both juniors and seniors. At the beginning of each class, the midshipmen got to talk with the physics students in the school's courtyard as they fired tennis balls from their home-made catapults. The accuracy of the shots determined the student's grades for their final project.
After the catapults finished firing, the midshipmen gathered the students in Dr. Smith's classroom and introduced themselves and talked about their interest in weather science. The SWIFT weather team then briefed the students on future chase plans. Midshipmen Chamberlin, Wilson, Dean, and Kelm walked the students through real-time weather models and explained some crucial atmospheric processes used to determine areas of storm activity. After, the logistics team (Midshipmen Glenn, Colon-Waite, Marino, and Bernstein) showed the class pictures, videos and maps of the places the SWIFT team visited in the previous week.
At the end of the 15 minutes the mids held a question and answer session on anything related to weather, science, and life at the Naval Academy. The SWIFT team enjoyed their visit at Stevens High School and hope the students from Dr. Smith's physics classes learned something new about the incredible weather in the Plains and west.