Iron Range Students Dive Into Natural Disasters

By KBJR News 1

July 11, 2011 Updated Jul 11, 2011 at 6:18 PM CDT

VIRGINIA, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)--Students on the Iron Range learned how thunderstorms form and what makes them severe.

It's all about natural disasters this week at the S.T.E.M summer program at the Mesabi Technical College in Virginia.

Samantha Larson wants to be a forensic scientist when she grows up, but this week she's focused on learning the science behind natural disasters.

"I've always been interested in natural disasters and storms," Larson said. "I'm excited to learn about meteorology and just how that stuff works."

The week long S.T.E.M program focuses on teaching 7th through 10th grade students about professions in science, technology engineering and math related fields.

Students participate in hands on activities, work with engineering students from the college and get the chance to talk with professionals in various fields from meteorology to fire fighting.

"They get some information first hand about what they should be doing as young people to prepare for those careers," Lisa Kvas of the Mesabi Range College said. "And to get them excited about them, and to see what it is, a day in the life of those individuals."

Students spent the morning working in groups researching a natural disaster of their choice.

"Hurricanes are created by pressure points in tropical areas," said 8th grader Trent Jugovich, of his project.

Then students learned how weather forms through a forecasting activity and tornado stimulator demonstration by a Warning Coordination Meteorologist from the National Weather Service.

"It's how to prepare for the bad weather, and then how to identify the bad weather and know what to do when it comes," Meteorologist Carol Christenson said. "When we educate the youth on this, they can pass it on to their parents and other people."

Tomorrow students will take a field trip to Duluth to visit Enger Tower and the National Resources Research Institute.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch