School Furniture, Science Lab Furniture & Classroom Furniture

Tropical Storm Isaac Spawns Science Discussions

With much of Tropical Storm Isaac now barreling through the Gulf of Mexico and into the Southern States, many young students, particularly those in Florida, are starting to ask some really good science questions. For example, one child in South Florida raised her 9 year old hand last Friday and asked, “Mrs. Gibbs, why do we get so many bad storms?” And by ‘we’, she only knows her own environment. Appropriately, Mrs. Gibbs turns this into a lesson for the whole class, encouraging all of her students to look up at the screen where she has displayed a map of Florida and the Atlantic/Gulf waters along its border.

“You see, in order for us to get a storm like Isaac, there has to be warm water, about 80 degrees or higher, and water deep enough to build energy for the storm. Out in the Atlantic Ocean, a few hundred miles from these islands–as you can see here–the water is incredibly warm and incredibly deep. As the water quickly cools in the late summer months, this creates a series of small storms. If one of those storms comes into contact with a land mass, like an island, the storm will begin spinning. And if a few other things happen just right, the storm will start moving toward areas where people live. It’s a little complicated, but it’s all part of nature.”

“I see,” says the student, “But I still don’t get it.”

“That’s okay,” says the teacher, “At least you’re asking the right questions.”

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