DEL RIO—A special guest recently paid a visit to Del Rio Elementary.

Heather Haley, Chief Meteorologist for WVLT News in Knoxville, stopped by to talk about television production and east Tennessee weather with students.

Haley, who works during the morning newscast, shared her routine and described the process of creating a forecast by looking at various weather models.

She gave students insight in to how she creates an educated guess based on past, present and future data sets.

Haley told students that she uses many of the things she learned in her childhood science classes in her job as a meteorologist.

She took time to answer all of the students’ questions about weather related phenomenon such as tornadoes, thunder and lightning, and hailstorms.

Haley said she enjoys speaking to students and hopes her talks help them better understand their classroom course material.

“I remember when I was a kid and the folks that came out to speak,” Haley said.

“I remember them being very polite and kind, and wanting to help me better understand. You never know when you’re going to spark an interest in a child.

“With math and science, the subjects can be something that some gravitate to and others are turned off by them. You never know what might help them better grasp the concept and be more interested and excited about it. I hope I make it seem more fun and exciting while hopefully making class a little easier for them.”

Haley said it’s important for every child to follow their dreams or pursue a path that is of great interest to them.

She hopes each child has an anything is possible mentality.

“No matter what, I hope they don’t think that can never be me, or I could never be on TV. I want them to realize that if they think something is interesting or if they think something is possible, don’t shy away from it. Embrace it and see where it takes you no matter what the subject may be.”

Lori Blanchard, teacher at Del Rio, contacted Haley about speaking to the school.

She said there is a concerted effort at the school to encourage students to pursue STEM related careers.

“I contacted Heather in an effort to encourage our students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” Blanchard said.

“We were so excited when she said she would be more than happy to share the details of her job with us.”

Members of the weather and news team at WVLT often visit local schools in the area to talk about their careers with students.

Any school that would like to have an individual speak to their students can reach out to the station at wvlt.news@wvlt-tv.com.

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