Durham students take part in National Hurricane School

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Students from Spring Valley Elementary in Durham take part in the webinar (WTVD)

The world of hurricane hunting came to life today for one local school. Meteorologists from the National Hurricane Center along with the University of Rhode Island broadcasted live from the Galveston, Texas stop of the hurricane awareness tour, giving students a behind the scenes look at the world of forecasting.

Spring Valley Elementary in Durham was one of more than 550 schools taking part in the webinar. More than 10,000 students from across the country tuned in to learn about hurricanes and tropical storms from the experts. Meteorologists took students on board one of the hurricane hunter airplanes, Gonzo, and showed off the fancy equipment scientists use to track the powerful storms.

"I think it's really awesome that my kids have an opportunity to see different things, learn about different things, and you know we can't see these planes, so getting to go inside of it is a really neat opportunity for them," teacher, Julia Champion said.

They also showed of the maps used to track the storms. The fifth graders watched eagerly as the scientists answered questions about hurricanes and talked about the danger they can cause.

Fifth grader Amelia Rozzell enjoyed the presentation. "They showed us the airplane on the inside, it was really cool," she said.

Some of the kids were hearing about the dangers of these storms for the first time. It has been more than ten years since a category three or stronger hurricane made landfall on a U.S. coastline. That means many of these students have not seen one in their lifetime.

Champion says presentations like this offer a unique learning opportunity for the students. "I think just having the opportunity for people to come in and talk to the kids helps them out even more, learning it and being a little more hands on," she said.

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