COSI Delivers Stormy Lessons

NEW KNOXVILLE — Elementary students flocked to the gym at New Knoxville Local School Wednesday afternoon for an engaging, educational experience.

COSI on Wheels visited the school, bringing one of its six traveling exhibits. Students learned about several aspects of weather in the Current Conditions exhibit that traveled to the school. The learning began with an assembly.

“We had an assembly with students in kindergarten through the sixth grade, where we talked about weather,” COSI Outreach Educator Jordan Rader said, noting that students learned about weather topics including clouds, air pressure and storms.

Rader noted that COSI aims to make the learning experience enjoyable for students.

“We want to present our content in a fun and educational way,” he said.

Throughout the day, each grade level returned to the gym to visit 10 stations with different weather-related experiments and activities.

Students learned about weather map symbols, weather-tracking tools and storms at the stations. Students learned about how air takes up space by sticking their arm in a tube that the air was sucked out of.

Students learned that after the air is taken out of the tube, they are unable to open their fist, but when air is let back in, they can reopen it.

Students enjoyed making a cloud at one of the stations, where they learned that air, water and dust is needed to form a cloud.

The station was a favorite to several students, including fifth-grade student Tayler Doty.

“We learned about how to make clouds and what  clouds do,” Tayler said.

Her partner, Grace Dietsch, also enjoyed the cloud station but said another was her favorite.

“My favorite part is the one where we put the foam things in the updraft,” she said.

The station showed students how things move in an updraft and also showed how hail forms. Fifth-grade student Tyler Schafer said he also learned about clouds.

“I learned that water can evaporate to form clouds and make it rain,” he said. “I also learned that if high pressure and low pressure worked together, they can create a tornado.”

He noted that his favorite station was one in which he learned about all the tools used to help track weather, including a thermometer, barometer, rain gauge and anemometer.

“I liked it because it tells you about the weather station,” he said. “You can find out if rain is coming or high winds.”

The stations were manned by parent volunteers, whom Principal Linda Tebbe said were crucial to the school’s ability to host programs like COSI on Wheels.

“Without the volunteers we couldn’t do programs like these,” she said.