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Southwest Florida Weather Camp – 2016 – Day 5 Reflective Journal Entries

Garrett H. – “This is [being written] before 12pm, after we flew the balloons. My balloon was better than what I thought [it would be]. But other people’s balloons flew more than a football field. Unfortunately, the bad thing was the wind [started] blowing more then 10 mph which made it so we couldn’t fly the balloons. And the last good thing was that I got to experience making and flying a hot air balloon.”

Jake N. – “The hot air balloons were awesome, because mine was a record, [with a flight that seemed to last] for 5 minutes! Our camp had some of the best launches [that Mr. Mogil has seen while doing the camps]. The building process wasn’t too bad actually. Gluing was the hardest part. Launching was great. The balloon heats, expands, and we push it in the air. They can really go far! The balloons were epic!”

Jolette G. – “I thought this morning when I woke up that it was going to rain [today, during the balloon launch], so I started to get scared. But when I got to camp I said “oh its not raining; I’m fine,” When we got to the fair grounds, Garrett went first, Tom went second, I went third, Jake went last. When I went, my balloon went a little far, [then] after one more time my balloon went so far I couldn’t catch up to it, then I caught it [and] I was HAPPY! My dad was proud of me. I was a little upset because none of Tom, Jake, or Garrett’s launches went as far as mine.”

Tom M. – “We started with our balloon launch, which was so cool. I got to be in a giant van [on the way to the fairgrounds]. I did not get good lift for my first [balloon launch] try and then there were holes in my balloon. [When I patched it,] it took a long time to dry. Finally I say [to myself,] “failure is not a option,” and it goes very far, as far as the road. It got hot and my legs hurt but it was so fun! The wind came out of the east. When it got too windy, we stopped; but all the balloons went very far. Everyone’s parents were there. My balloon launch was very fun and enjoyable. Thank you Mr. Mogil and Matt!”

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Southwest Florida Weather Camp – 2016 – Day 4 Reflective Journal Entries

Garrett H. – “Today was a better day as I wasn’t as stressed as [I was] yesterday. Learning about how rainbows are made gave me a better understanding. Listening to Matt’s presentation on hurricanes made me like them very much, [especially] since we learned that storms have A.C.E. [Accumulated Cyclone Energy]. Lunch was 70 ACE, as Tish’s smores were delicious, but extremely messy. Making a balloon is stressful and I still don’t like it. Seeing dry ice become snow felt cool. Now I’m on my final adventure tomorrow.”

Tom M. – “Today was fun and not fun. We started out [with an activity] where we had rain-drops on a sheet of paper, where you can make the rain droplets combine and make them bigger. Small droplets make a rainbow and Hawaii is called the rainbow state. Then we finished our balloons but not fully. We went outside to see how much water you would get for putting a plastic bag on a plant/tree [learning about evapotranspiration]. We came in and had s’mores. They were gooey and delicious. We came back to the classroom, where we saw a tornado of [pith] balls and [convection in] a lava lamp. We finished our balloons and [they] are ready for launch tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll have good/great weather.”

Jake N. – “Today was epic because we finished the balloons! We also made rain droplets attract [each other more, to form] big droplets. We had s’mores!!! Also, we learned what a greenhouse gas is. Water vapor is the most common greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Most important, there was record snowfall [after we used dry ice to demonstrate the phase change processes of sublimation and deposition]! This was my epic fourth day at weather camp.”

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Southwest Florida Middle School Weather Camp – 2016 – Day 3 Reflective Journal Entries

Jake N. – “Today at weather camp was cool because we made progress on the weather hot air balloons. We got our panels glued together. It’s starting to look like a balloon. We also learned about rain shadows [which occur around mountains when they block the formation or passage of rain showers]. We also made hurricanes and tornadoes with water, a spoon, food coloring, and a clear tub of water. This was my very cool third day at weather camp.”

Garrett H. – “Today was a little bit more stressful as we were finishing up our balloons. I was stressed with the severe weather going on, [not knowing] if I my [weather] radio [at home] went off while I was at camp. Back to the balloon, we finished almost all of it and relieved [the related] stress. Learning about rain changing to snow in higher elevations made me much more aware and well learned. Finding out Mr. Mogil worked for the “SPC” [Storm Prediction Center, back when it was in Missouri] made me extremely excited for my future in meteorology.”

Jolette G. – “There was a thunderstorm [today] and the lightning made a fire. So today we learned about fire and lightning in the morning. After that we all went outside and measured the wind speed and how hot it was outside. When we came inside it was lunch time, For lunch we ate chicken nuggets. After lunch we went back to the classroom, and we made tornadoes inside of hurricanes. After that we went to make our balloons. Then we went back to the room and we made up a story. Then we ended the day and went home.”

Tom M. – “We started out with our balloons, then went outside to look at the fire [in thre distance to our north]. Then we went to measure heat [the outside temperature]. It was 89 degrees outside but it felt like 108. We measured [different] surfaces and Mr. Mogil’s blue car was a crazy 172!! We came inside to do an experiment with hurricanes and two tornadoes. Then we had lunch which was chicken nuggets and hash browns. Then, we attached our second to last part of our balloons. We made up a story not knowing we did. Then Mr. Mogil told us about [the time] he was on his second day [working the forecast desk at the Storm Prediction Center]. A tornado watch was in the wrong place [over Texas] so [after he analyzed data], he issued a watch over the whole state of Kansas. A police officer got hit twice, by two different tornadoes.”

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Southwest Florida Middle School Weather Camp – 2016 – Day 2 Reflective Journal Entries

Jake N. – “Today, weather camp was great because we learned about thunderstorms and how they are made. [In an experiment where we created thunderstorms and demonstrated convective heat transfer processes] we used buttermilk, water, food coloring, a loaf pan to hold the water and buttermilk, and [sterno as] fuel. We also made weather systems with milk, food coloring, and some [dishwashing] soap! It was so cool when the food coloring got a drop of soap because it spread out as soon as the soap hit it. I also won a game of “left, right, and center!” I must’ve won 15 lifesavers! This was my awesome second day at weather camp.”

Garrett H. – “Today many things were learned with mixed emotions, like crafting a hot air balloon. I really don’t enjoy that at all and I really don’t like crafting at all. What I did like was [learning] how severe thunderstorms develop and how long a thunderstorm lasts. What I most enjoyed was talking to Greg [Blumberg] at the University of Oklahoma. He influenced me even more in meteorology, and [having such experiences] helps me socialize even more. Hopefully by the time this is over I will be able to understand more meteorology.”

Tom M. – “We started out today studying thunderstorms. We learned about down bursts which was boring because I knew that already. Then we did a really cool and fun experiment where we used buttermilk in water to represent how clouds rise. We added blue food coloring, which made it cool, and we heated it up so the clouds would rise. We learned that if you leave steak in the freezer for six months ice crystals fall on it and it becomes bad [because of the phase change processes related to sublimation and deposition – which are when gas goes directly to a solid, and from solid to gas, respectively]. Then we used whole milk and food coloring to show the Coriolis Effect and he showed us that with one drop of soap the whole bowl clears everything. We had lunch, which was ok. We played [a game called] “Left, Right, Center,” and continued our balloons. We met one of Mike’s [former] interns [who is a current PhD student] at the University of Oklahoma. Then we wrote this [in our journals]. I don’t like writing but it will make my writing better.”

Jolette G. – “Today is day two of weather camp. I learned about thunderstorms, [we went over] more vocabulary words, and we also did a weather map on high temperatures [hand-drawn isotherm analyses] . We also continued the balloon project, we cut the tissue paper, and made a [repair] kit for just in case [our balloons are damaged]. Then we made a small project on the north pole. We had milk, food coloring, soap, and straws [in an experiment where the campers simulated their own atmosphere and created wave patterns to learn about atmospheric wind flow patterns]. Then we heard lightning and thunder, so we knew that there was a storm [approaching our location]. We took a break and Mrs. Tish came to the classroom. She brought us candy and we played a game. We also started writing this.”

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Southwest Florida Middle School Weather Camp – 2016 – Day 1 Reflective Journal Entries

Garrett H. – “I liked taking [observations of] my shadow for four hours [and predicting its movement]. I also liked looking at satellites, hurricanes, and NOAA’s warnings, watches, and advisories. I really enjoyed making a cloud. I didn’t enjoy making a weather balloon because I do not like to do arts and crafts, but I enjoyed most of my time. Waking up at 6:40 AM is not fun, but weather camp is worth it. I enjoyed finding out about gas, liquid, and solid [phase change] features like evaporation, condensation, melting, freezing, and so on.”

Tom M. – “I was scared [at first, going into camp,] because I was the last [of the campers to arrive,] but then it got very interesting and fun. We went to look at our shadows and each time we came back out they got shorter and shorter, then we saw an elephant cloud [and experienced] nephelococcygia. That’s [a] long [word]! Then we went and got sandwiches and chips. There was turkey, cheese, bread, and Cheetos and Doritos. We saw hurricanes in the Pacific and the hotspot [where they form]. We now are on a quest to build balloons, [and we] glued [tissue] paper together as our sheets for the balloon. Today was fun! Yay!”

Jolette G. – “I liked the part when we were doing the balloon project, [and] I liked the part when we ate sandwiches for lunch. One of my friends, Jake, and I glued tissue paper for our balloon project. The thing we all mainly did was trace our shadows outside. Today I learned so much, I love this camp.”

Jake N. – “Today was awesome because we made our own sandwiches at lunch and we shared stuff about movies and hot air balloons. I met some new friends such as Garrett, Jolette, and Tom. We learned about nephelococcygia. It means a picture seen in the clouds. We were seeing how our shadows were affected by the sun every hour. It was getting smaller and going to the left. Last but not least we started working on the weather balloons. We did the sheets. This was my awesome first day at weather camp!”