Meteorology is defined by National Geographic as the science of the Earth’s atmosphere. While many people associate this field solely with weather forecasting, it is certainly much more than that. It is also concerned with climate change and different atmospheric phenomena that may affect human life, as well as the world around us.
For children across the globe, meteorology may not be the first field of study that comes to their minds when they think about science. But the Earth’s atmosphere plays a vital role in our daily lives, and there are many skills and important insights that kids can learn by studying the weather. Here are just a few reasons why learning about meteorology is important for kids:
It helps introduce environmental issues
This field of science is the perfect segue to start a discussion about caring for the environment. Meteorology is inherently connected to studies about the water cycle, ocean levels, global temperatures, air and water pollution, greenhouse gasses, deforestation, and clean energy solutions such as wind turbines and solar panels. With the rise of climate change and damaging industrial emissions, we should be teaching the current generation of children about the problems facing our planet, so they will be equipped to help us find creative solutions when they become adults. Studying the weather is a fun and relatable starting point to help kids understand these important topics.
It gives kids information to keep them safe
Since meteorology also encompasses certain natural disasters like storms and tornadoes, children who learn about it will be equipped with information that keeps them safe and can even save their lives! Teach kids to recognize the warning signs of impending disasters, such as the color of the sky before a tornado, rising water levels in a stream before flash flooding, or the shape of clouds that bring a thunderstorm instead of a rainstorm. This will help them prepare for the worst-case scenario and hopefully keep them safe in the event that they are affected. The knowledge they gain can also be used well into their future, especially if they live in a calamity-prone state.
It opens up an exciting career path
It is never too early for children to start the path toward their dream jobs. TV meteorologist Guy Brown, author of the new picture book Look Up to See What the Weather Will Be, discovered his passion for learning about the weather at the age of nine! Encouraging kids to dabble in STEM subjects while they are young can lead them to pursue related careers in the future. As Maryville University’s write-up on STEM careers notes, the field of meteorology is expected to grow by an above-average rate of 12%, meaning more skilled individuals are needed each year. This makes meteorology, in particular, a highly viable (and valuable) science profession that shouldn’t be overlooked. Educating kids about the weather early on may pique their interest in meteorology and point them toward an exciting and rewarding career.
It promotes outdoor exploration
With today’s technology and the vast online worlds now available for kids to enjoy, it can be easy to forget to appreciate the natural wonders of the Earth. Meteorology makes good use of technological advancements — with cutting-edge satellites, radar equipment, and computers to process information — but it also requires going back to nature. Meteorology is about understanding the sophisticated way that the environment works, leading to a greater appreciation of it as a whole. For kids, learning weather basics encourages stepping outside and thinking about the world around them. They can make their own weather station in the backyard or take Guy Brown’s My Weather Journal out into nature to record their observations of the sky. Children who love the outdoors will be excited to take their science lessons outside of the classroom, and kids who love technology and computers will be coaxed to build an appreciation for the incredible patterns and processes found in the natural world. There’s no doubt that fostering an interest in meteorology will not only help children become more confident exploring this branch of science, but will also inspire a greater understanding and love for the planet as they get older. There are many resources to help young kids get started on their weather journey. Picture books can be a great way to make science education fun and engaging, with easy-to-understand language and fascinating images that will surely catch their interest. The following is a list of recommended books for your budding meteorologist: 1. Look Up to See What the Weather Will Be by Guy Brown 2. This Beautiful Day by Richard Jackson 3. The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder by Jon Nelson and Mark Cassino 4. Hurricanes by Gail Gibbons 5. Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book by Lucy Cousins
Article specially written for sciencenaturally.com
By Alicia Winston