Heavy weather can be scary when you're a kid. So helping children understand what's going on in the atmosphere is the aim of FOX13's Mid-South Weather Camp, hosted by chief meteorologist Joey Sulipeck. The camp, for 2nd through 6th graders, takes place at the Agricenter on Saturday, August 4, from 9 a.m. until noon. Attendance is free; to register online, click here. Registration ends August 2. Kids must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
I asked Joey, the father of three, how weather camp come about.
The idea was really sparked by some letters I received from moms who said their kids were afraid of storms. I talked about that with my wife and thought, what better way to help kids then to give them knowledge by immersing them in weather camp. So I approached the National Weather Service, who agreed to be a partner, then the Agricenter folks, and it kind of just snowballed from there.
What types of activities do you have planned?
Kids will learn from the FedEx Meteorology weather team about how they land planes during thunderstorms. There will be different hands-on experiments. Kids can watch a weather balloon, and learn how to make a tornado in a bottle. Of course, we'll have TV monitors set up and a green screen, so campers can see themselves doing weather on television. The best part is that kids will be able to ask questions and do science experiments. If they have fears, they can ask one of us. We tell our contributors, "This isn't an adult conference. You've got to present activities that will draw kids out."
What kind of attendance do you expect?
Last year, we had more than 1,500 people come to camp, and while lines were long for some activities, people were patient and had a lot of fun. I expect our attendance this year will jump substantially.
Why did you choose meteorology as a profession?
I am constantly amazed by how weather works. When I was a post-graduate at Mississippi State, I got interested in the field. I also really enjoy telling a story and helping keep the public safe. So my job as a meterologist allows me do all of that and more.