Wind for Change is a classroom education program and fundraiser coordinated by Justin Berk, meteorologist and Stevenson University professor. Justin will visit your school, teach your class a complimentary science lesson about weather, and coordinate a wind speed contest among students. His presentation is easily adjusted for various ages, and can be tailored to emphasize current classroom topics. Justin finds this program works best with grades K-8. “High school students are sometimes ‘too cool’ to play in some of the interactive demonstrations,” he says. In his first two years of the program, Justin has raised a staggering $34,513! Season 3 is expected to raise over $20,000. Your school can be a part of it!
How Wind For Change works:
Two Weeks Prior to Visit
Two weeks before Justin visits your school, teachers explain the Wind for Change contest to students and ask for participants in a wind speed contest. Participating students take home a Wind Speed Pledge Sheet and solicit sponsorships from families and friends. (Sponsorships start at 50¢ per mph. Students can also collect a flat donation of $5 or more to participate. Teachers are invited to seek pledges as well!)
Part 1 of the visit – The Science Lesson!
Justin’s science talk takes about 40-45 min, and he can cover a wide range of weather related concepts and lessons. Certainly his most popular segment with the kids (and adults!) is extreme weather – photos and videos are interspersed by Justin’s narrative of safety tips and forecasting techniques. Justin keeps his slide deck infused with current events, including pictures of satellite launches and recent storms.
Part 2 of the visit – The Wind Contest!
After Justin teaches the science lesson, those students participating in the wind contest are given two chances to blow into a hand-held anemometer to register the highest wind speed they can. The competition is simple and teachers and students really get into it! (Involves technique and lung power; top speed in a pre-K class is around 20 mph, while Justin’s personal best is 52 mph!) A video is below, and we have more photos and videos posted on the Wind For Change Facebook Page.
Wind For Change contest in action!
Quarterfield Elementary – 1st Graders
Part 3 of the visit – The Winners!
After the contest, Justin announces which student collected the most pledges and who recorded the highest wind speed. Every participant is presented with a certificate displaying their highest speed. They have one week to collect pledges and return them to school. A prepaid envelope with a tracking number is provided to the teacher to easily forward the funds to Cool Kids Campaign.
Grand Prize – Pizza Party for your science class!
The 2012-2013 school year has been divided into a Fall and Spring competitions. We will select one winner from each competition – the highest recorded wind speed and the most money raised. That means four winners in the 2012-2013 school year will receive the grand prize – a pizza party for the winning child’s entire science class!
How to invite Justin to your school
Justin is flexible on which weekday he visits, but prefers Thursdays and a start time between 10am and 11am. Email WindForChange@coolkidscampaign.org with your name, school, phone number, and what date and time you’re considering. He is unfortunately not able to teach individual classes (aka teach 2nd period from 10-11 and then 3rd period from 11-12) and prefers a large assembly format so that all kids can hear his science lesson and participate in the wind contest!
Justin’s school calendar availability
For the 2012-2013 academic year, Justin has 24 potential spots for school visits. This breaks down to approximately three per month, with one school scheduled per week and one week off. See our scheduling page for more information.
If you are interested in speaking with a teacher who has used Wind For Change in his/her classroom, please email email@example.com and we would be happy to connect you. Justin is proud to say that MANY of the schools he visits invite him back year after year. Check out some of the Teacher Testimonials we’ve gathered from long-time and first-time participants.