Kid Meteorologist: How to Turn a Passion into a Career
Posted by: Earth Networks
Need for Meteorologists
Meteorologist: Someone who studies meteorology, or the science that deals with the atmosphere and its phenomena and especially with weather and weather forecasting.
And, one of the fastest growing jobs according to the United States Department of Labor.
But how does a future meteorologist get interested in the weather? We sat down with Earth Networks Meteorologist Steve Prinzivalli to discover how he turned his passion for weather science into a lifelong career.
It Started with a Storm…
Steve cites the Blizzard of 1983 as the source of his interest in meteorology. The storm dumped over 20 inches of snow on his home and the rest of suburban Philadelphia. While most kids love snow days (apologies to all the teachers out there!), Steve can’t forget helping his dad shovel the driveway over and over again. The snow fell so fast and furiously that the duo could hardly keep up with the work.
The storm proved to be a lot of work for Steve, but he clearly remembers thinking how cool it would be to forecast snow day for his friends at school. From that day forward, Steve’s life changed and he took a proactive interest in weather. With the help of his dad, Steve first began charting the daily high and low temperatures at Philadelphia International Airport. He also began producing his own weathercasts. Here’s an example of young Steve at work:
Then he began to read. The book Snow Stumpers became one of his favorite. Full of images of snow patterns and scientific explanations for the weather that inspired him, Snow Stumpers taught Steve that snow melts around a tree thanks to the trees’ warmth. Another favorite read was the Old Farmer’s Almanac. This publication provided long-term winter forecasts.
A few years later in the summer of 1988, it was one of the hottest summers on record in Philadelphia. Steve became extremely interested in this phenomena called the “greenhouse effect” so he got to work. His mother helped him build a greenhouse out of cardboard for his eighth grade science project. Steve’s father also supported him with a trip to the Schuylkill Valley Nature Center. There, Steve learned more about meteorology and even met some NOAA forecasters.
Inspire STEM Learning
Today, the study of meteorology is very important. As a part of STEM learning, meteorology is just one small section of life science. The strongest constant in Steve’s story is the support of his parents. His parents always inspired his learning by encouraging his projects. Like parents, educators can also inspire STEM learning.