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OKES Second Graders Get Lesson on Weather from TV Meteorologist

Flagler Schools

The 10 second grade classes at Old Kings Elementary School were treated Thursday to a visit by Fox 35’s tricked out storm-chasing Thunder Truck on the school’s campus. The students, who learn about weather as part of their curriculum, were treated to first-hand insights from the Orlando station’s meteorologist Ian Cassette about how he and his crew utilize the sophisticated radar and camera equipment in the truck to track storms and hurricanes, including Ian and Nicole that recently swept through Flagler County and other parts of the state. The visit was facilitated by teacher Michelle Patton who earlier this school year reached out to all of the meteorologists in the area and was delighted when Ian (the Fox meteorologist) responded.

“We’ve been trying to schedule for months,” Ms. Patton says. “But you know it’s been quite the hurricane season.”

Cassette, who grew up in Tampa and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in meteorology, explained how he became so passionate about all-things weather-related.

“When I was a little bit older than these students, we had a couple of big hurricanes, including Charlie, come through Tampa, which made me interested in finding out more about the science behind them and other weather phenomena,” the 30-year-old weatherman says.

After graduating from college, Cassette moved to another state, but recently returned home to Florida, where he says the unique weather patterns of our southern-most state piqued his interest as a scientist.

Cassette regaled the 200 or so students with the science behind storms, wind, rain and, of course, hurricanes for about an hour on the breezy Thursday morning. He also addressed questions from the enthusiastic second-graders, who seemed eager to know more about why we have hurricanes, what causes thunder and what are his favorite kinds of weather. 

Each of the students received a memento of the visit from Cassette and the 6,000-pound Thunder Truck: a UV Sensor bracelet that changes color under the sun’s rays.

The segment was recorded by the Fox 35 team and will be available to view on their website.

Meteorologist squatting and talking to students
Meteorologist interview boy
Group of students in front of truck
Group of students in front of truck
Teacher talking with meteorologist
OKES students in front of truck
Student and meteorologist doing weather forecast
Kids showing wristbands