MILLBURN, NJ - Monday afternoon, some of the students of Deerfield Elementary School got a first-hand look at just what it takes to be a meteorologist, when the WNBC4 Weather Kids Program stopped in for a visit.
The workshop, which was attended by third grade students at Deerfield, was hosted by WNBC's Chief Meteorologist Janice Huff and fellow WNBC Meteorologist Maria LaRosa. Over the course of the workshop, students learned about the different types of clouds, what it takes to bring a forecast together and more inside knowledge from the two.
For the students at Deerfield, the visit made them the fifth Essex County spot to be a recipient of the Weather Kids program. Additionally, the school was one of approximately 1,400 that applied for the program this year. Additionally, the program has visited 12 counties in the region, with around 4,800 participants so far.
As part of year three, the students received a revamped program with newer activities. In addition, both meteorologists ran through how they do their jobs, and what to look out for in terms of severe weather.
Speaking with TAPinto after the program, Huff and LaRosa both said Weather Kids is something they enjoy doing.
"The great thing about this is that we actually get to see people," Huff said. "Because we're in a studio all the time and we never get to see people until we come out. And then you get to see the faces of the people who are watching and see the faces of these children who are learning and who are eager to learn.
"And so that's what we're here for, is to help aide in the teaching process of weather. How we get to do what we do as meteorologists and also to talk about weather safety and why it's important. The kids get a real kick out of all of this...and it's really fun to see the light in their eyes and the excitement."
Huff also noted that Deerfield's in-school weather broadcast was a major part of what made WNBC lean towards choosing the Millburn school.
For LaRosa, who is slightly newer to the WNBC team, coming on one of her first runs with the Weather Kids program was something she described as a blast in her interview.
"If this is part of my workday, I'm doing okay," LaRosa said. "This is a lot of fun, and you have such an enthusiastic group, and knowing that you're tying their brains into something that they see and look at every day.
"And then you can show them 'you know what, you're actually learning about physics and chemistry and math and geography and all those things'...It's exciting to see that little flare and that light bulb flick."
As exciting as it was for the meteorologists, there may have been no single person more pumped for the program than technology facilitator Kate Lissy, who wrote up the proposal that got the WNBC team to Deerfield. Having come up empty on the first two tries, she said it was exciting when she knew the school had been selected.
"We were so excited," Lissy said. "They contacted me a week and a half ago. So it was a short amount of time to put it all together, and i think it was amazing. They did such a good job, and having the whole team here was really cool."
"I think they got a good overview of meteorology," Lissy added. "So when the teachers teach their weather unit, they'll have that to go back to and they can say, remember when Janice and Maria were here and they taught us about the kinds of clouds? That's a great experience for them."