OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --
High school students interested in meteorology visited the 557th Weather Wing as part of the National Weather Camp program June 12, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
The students, who have a desire to pursue careers in weather, are in grades 10 - 12 from high schools across the United States.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln hosts one of the camps in locations around Nebraska.
Dr. Ken Dewey, UNL professor of climatology and weather camp director, said that the students enjoyed being able to share their enthusiasm for weather with people who share the same interests.
“These students do not have a group to join in high school to get to know other students interested in weather science,” Dewey said. “There are clubs and activities for many interests, but nothing that is directly related to a career in meteorology. As a result these students are thrilled to be in a group of others at weather camp who have the same level of interest in weather.”
During their visit, students received a briefing on the wing’s missions, viewed artifacts in the atrium and toured the Space Weather Operations Center and High Performance Computer Center. The students also learned about career opportunities in Air Force Weather.
“The UNL Weather Camp is 7-years-old, and we have been bringing the students to the weather wing to show them a career path both within the Air Force as commissioned officers and as a civilian forecasters,” Dewey said. “Most of them didn't know about the high school junior ROTC program or the college level ROTC program and several students told us on the way home that is something of interest to them.”
The 557th WW is a popular career destination for students and graduates from UNL meteorological programs. The weather wing hires students often as interns which sometimes lead to permanent positions after graduation.
“We currently have several UNL meteorology graduates working as civilians at the weather wing,” Dewey said, “and in our previous visits there, we have also encountered former UNL graduates working there as commissioned officers,”.
After the camp had concluded many students said visiting the 557th WW was their favorite activity, Dewey reported.