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Lisa Merkl
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Students Become Budding Weather Forecasters Through UH Contest“Weather U” Latest in Grand Challenge Series Rewarding Winners with Prizes, Scholarships

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October 26, 2010-Houston-
Houston-area high school students will compete in a two-round competition to accurately predict the weather, with top contenders convening at the University of Houston (UH) to participate in mock television weather forecasts to be judged by an all-star panel of judges.

The “Fall Grand Challenge: Weather U” contest will challenge participants to enter daily forecasts for a week, from Nov. 1-8, accurately predicting the maximum and minimum temperatures, wind speed and general precipitation for the UH campus on the competition website at http://sep.uh.edu/contests/weather-u/. Sponsored by UH’s Houston-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (H-LSAMP), the event is intended to encourage juniors and seniors at predominately minority and underprivileged high schools to one day apply to UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The competition is, however, open to all schools and students in grades 9-12, as well.

Specific resources will be made available for the campus, and contestants are further welcome to use additional forecasting resources, such as the National Weather Service site. Each participating class also will be provided with a lecture by a UH professor, teachHOUSTON instructor or member of the American Meteorological Society on using calculations, forces, properties and resources to accurately forecast weather patterns. Each student will compete individually, yet must be part of a participating class or sponsored by a math or science teacher.

Top competitors from the first round will move to the second round held on campus Saturday, Nov. 13 to present a mock television forecast that will be judged by an all-star panel of local meteorologists to include Mario Gomez from KHOU, Khambrel Marshall from KPRC and Justin Horne from KIAH.

First, second and third place winners all will receive Visa gift cards, scholarships to UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, a flash drive with their winning entries and a pizza party for their class. Additionally, first place receives a $100 gift card and $500 scholarship, second place receives a $75 gift card and $300 scholarship and third place receives a $50 gift card and $200 scholarship. Honorable mention for the most creative forecast wins a $25 Visa gift card and flash drive.

H-LSAMP is a well-established, federally funded program between UH and local schools with the goal of recruiting and funding minority students who choose to major in one of the STEM disciplines that include science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Since H-LSAMP began 10 years ago, the number of minority undergraduates receiving science or engineering degrees from UH has risen 50 percent.

WHO: Houston-area high school students
UH’s Houston-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (H-LSAMP)
WHAT: Fall Grand Challenge: Weather U
WHEN: Weeklong forecasting competition: Nov. 1-8
Mock television weather forecasting contest: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 13
WHERE: Round One: Online at http://sep.uh.edu/contests/weather-u/
Round Two: University of Houston campus

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