Thursday, December 22, 2011

STEM Friday: Storm Chasers

Extreme Jobs: Storm Chasers
written by Sarah Tieck
2011 (Abdo Publishing)
Source: Orange County Public Library

Check out STEM Friday at Booktalking

Storm chasing is a risky (some would say insane) business, but the data collected is extremely valuable in trying to understand how hurricanes and tornadoes are formed and how they function. Storm Chasers gives readers an up close look at the life of these meteorologists who chase tornadoes and fly into hurricanes. One of the interesting aspects of this book is the time that is spent researching and planning. Chasing tornadoes or hurricanes involves a lot of time reviewing data and trying to predict what is going to happen with a particular storm. This is an excellent lesson for young science students. I work with 5th graders on being able to read weather data and develop a forecast based on that day's numbers. Storm Chasers shows students that you have to be able to make observations using the latest technology and your background knowledge. After the two sections on tornadoes and hurricanes,  a feature on two historical figures, Benjamin Franklin and John Muir, and their experience with weather observation closes out the book.

Chasing storms certainly has its thrills, but before you can track down a tornado or penetrate the eye of a hurricane in a plane, you have to use reading and math skills to prepare you for the chase. If you have a unit on careers or weather, you can use pieces of this book as a read aloud. A comparison of different time eras and their technology for predicting weather could be an activity you could use in conjunction with Storm Chasers.


  1. Thanks for participating in STEM Friday, Jeff!

  2. This sounds like the sort of career that would appeal to adventurous fifth-graders.... who wouldn't want to chase tornadoes for a living. What a great way to bring in applied math, too. I know I would have paid more attention to my math classes in elementary school if I knew such cool jobs existed!

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  4. Thank you everyone for stopping by!