Interview with Annette Jankowski.
[MP3, 11.1 MB]
As a Floridian familiar with the destructive power of hurricanes, Annette Jankowski is being recognized for both teaching her students about the weather phenomenon and helping make them less afraid of the storms. Jankowski created a classroom weather unit that utilizes professional development workshops, activities from The Weather Channel, and additional community resources. Working with limited supplies, her third-graders built models of hurricane-safe houses that were tested by simulating hurricane-force winds with a leaf blower. Throughout the project Jankowski collaborated with Bright House Networks, bringing a meteorologist to speak with her students and broadcasting the final experiment on a local news channel. Jankowski believes hands-on experience and teamwork are key to student achievement. "Projects like this help students realize they can achieve more by working together, and they make learning come to life, especially since our community was hit hard by Hurricanes Frances and Jean in 2004. I tried to make this a positive learning experience, to arm my students with more knowledge and lessen their fear of hurricanes."