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­niversity of Oklahoma Students Develop App That Puts Weather Knowledge on Children's Radar

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Home screen of the Storm Evader app.

The Storm Evader app developed by students at the University of Oklahoma uses U.S. National Weather Service data to teach younger students to recognize and understand severe weather.

Credit: iTunes

Elementary and middle-school students will be able to recognize and understand severe weather thanks to a gaming app developed by a team of three students at the University of Oklahoma led by professor Amy McGovern with funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Storm Evader uses real data collected from the U.S. National Weather Service to generate 18 increasingly challenging levels. Players chart courses for airports, as storms move around the screen, looking exactly like what a child would see watching a radar weather forecast on TV. The players risk losing points or even a plane if they choose to fly into a storm.

The real value of the game is in teaching young children how to read radar and understand forecasts and severe weather.

The free app was released for iPad and iPad Mini around Christmas. "It teaches you sneakily," says Andrea Balfour, who is double majoring in computer science and meteorology. "We didn't want it to seem like we were telling kids 'sit down and learn,' but 'sit down and have fun.'"

From The Oklahoman
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