The 17th annual Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium and Family Weatherfest on April 1 is branching out beyond meteorology as it grows into its new location at Nebraska Innovation Campus Convention Center, 2021 Transformation Drive.
In addition to expanded demonstrations and exhibitors, this year’s free event will feature a celebration of the state’s 150th birthday at 10:30 a.m. at the Nebraska 150 Foundation exhibit with comments from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green.
New partners this year include:
The Lincoln Children’s Museum, which will bring some of its popular science activities to the event;
The University of Nebraska State Museum’s Mueller Planetarium;
The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, which will bring its augmented reality sandbox, a hands-on 3-D experience that grows understanding of geologic formations; and its “Antarctic Time Machine,” another 3-D experience exploring Antarctica’s climate history; and
The Platte Basin Time-lapse Project, a partnership between Michael Forsberg Photography, the university and NET Television that records the river basin and how water travels through it over time.
Sixty-four exhibitors are expected to participate in the event. Other exhibits will explore climate change, renewable energy and natural resources with the help of experts from across the university and the state and will offer demonstrations geared toward school-age attendees. Also as in previous years, emergency management and storm-chaser vehicles will be on display outside the convention center.
The schedule is:
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Weatherfest exhibits, demonstrations and experiments;
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Meet local TV weathercasters and try the Green Screen Experience to deliver a weather forecast;
12:30 p.m.to 2:30 p.m.: Severe Weather Symposium, which will feature keynote speaker Tim Marshall, a severe storms expert and storm chaser, and storm photographer Jeremy Bower of JRB Storm Photography;
2:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Storm-spotter training, a workshop geared toward preparing the public to survive severe storms.
Food will be for sale throughout the day. Parking for the event is free.
“There is truly something for everyone,” said Ken Dewey, event organizer. “This year’s event is bigger and better, and there are many new weather- and science-related activities taking place.”
Weatherfest sponsors include the School of Natural Resources, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources, Nebraska Extension, State Farm Insurance and Raytheon. Also providing assistance are the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, the university’s meteorology club, the National Weather Service in Omaha, Lancaster County Emergency Management, Nebraska Emergency Management and Barnes and Noble Bookstores.
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