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Cal U students play in a fountain on campus. Cal U students play in a fountain on campus.


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Posted on February 2, 2012

More than 100 students from Cal U will lead schoolchildren in hands-on science projects during the fifth annual StormFest at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh.

StormFest is an educational outreach event hosted in part by the Southwestern Pennsylvania chapter of the American Meteorological Society (Cal U Meteorology Club), in collaboration with the Science Center.

The family-friendly event explores the geosciences — geology, geography, meteorology and more — with two full days of interactive activities on Feb. 24-25.

Designed for students of all ages, StormFest activities are free with paid admission to the Science Center.

Field trips for children in grades K-6 are the focus of activities from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 24. StormFest is open to the general public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 25.

Cal U meteorology students will staff the event, and geology, GIS, mathematics and education students also will volunteer. Cal U has recruited about 20 student volunteers from Ohio University and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, as well.

At StormFest kids can make rocks, rain sticks, lava lamps and “edible landfills.” They can even create “glurch,” a substance that has both solid and liquid properties.

Cal U students developed these and more than 30 other activities to teach children about the science behind weather and other natural phenomena.

Nick “the “Weather Dude” Walker, the on-camera meteorologist from The Weather Channel, will be at StormFest 2012 on Feb. 25 to sign autographs and perform on the Science Center's stage.

Cal U’s own “Dewey Sleet the Weather Geek” will lead kids in activities throughout the two-day festival. This year he will have his own table, where he will answer weather-related questions, such as why each snowflake is unique.

Participants on Feb. 25 will receive a free souvenir T-shirt if they complete 18 of the activities. 

Last year, more than 3,000 visitors attended StormFest, including families and school groups from throughout western Pennsylvania.

Cal U is among the founding partners in the Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development at the Carnegie Science Center. The Chevron Center is dedicated to improving education in the subject areas collectively known as STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.