Tornadoes are a force of nature that offer much in the way of learning to learn about. What are tornadoes? How do they form? Where do tornadoes occur? What to do in case of a tornado? These are just some of the questions the GT students at Asher will answer for their partner GT students in Molly Smith's classroom in Yarmouth, Maine. Using 21st century collaborative tools such as Twitter, yFrog, and Wikispaces, these students who are some 1800 miles apart, will dismiss the distance to instead amplify learning at a new and relevant level unlike the stagnated learning from a textbook. Acting as meterologists themselves, the GT students at Asher will ponder and predict the formation of tornadoes during Oklahoma's spring tornado season using short scripted videos (Skype and Ustream) and other media such as photostreams linked within Twitter using yFrog. This wiki will also be a learning hub. Mrs. Smith's class will:

(1) Follow this wiki at:

(2) Sign up on Twitter and follow Whittttt and TornadoPayne (David Payne @tornadopayne

(3) View additional posts if necessary at:

(4) View video clips within this wiki and/or YouTube or the above blog.

(5) View yFrog photostream at:
or UStream Tv @
or Ustream TV @
or View on Vimeo via mobile upload at:
or Skype

Asher GT will share what we've learned about tornadoes. We want to thank you, Mrs. Smith, and your class for partnering with us. My students are so excited to teach you, our friends in Maine, about our Oklahoma tornadoes. They are equally excited about learning from your students what a nor'easterner is. Let's get started!!

Sara: The name "Oklahoma" comes from two Choctaw words. Okla meaning 'people' and huma meaning 'red'. Oklahoma means 'red people'.

Christian: Oklahoma is the home of more man made lakes than any other state.

Cameron: Oklahoma is the home of the largest Native American population in the U.S.

Jayce: Oklahoma has approximately 68,000 square miles according to
Oklahoma has approximately 68,000 square miles.
Oklahoma Facts
Oklahoma was established with a Land Run.
Oklahoma Fun Facts
Oklahoma is the third largest gas producing state in the nation.
Oklahoma Facts
Oklahoma's number one crop is hay.
Predominant Crops
Weather affects cattle market.
OSU Division of Agriculture
Stratford produces over 900 acres of fruit.
Stratford, Oklahoma
Asher is a total .8 square miles.
Asher, Oklahoma

Sara: Please read about other interesting facts about Oklahoma included in our Wiki.

Christian: Oklahoma is also home to some of the most dangerous storms known to man.

Cameron: We call these storms tornadoes.

Jayce: Sometimes they're called twisters or cyclones.

Sara: Oklahoma has more tornadoes than any other place in the world per square mile.

Christian: Oklahoma is home to the nation's first "Tornado Warning" which was issued just minutes before a devastating tornado on March 25th, 1948. The warning saved
the lives of people in Oklahoma that day.

Cameron: Oklahoma is also the home of the highest wind speed ever recorded on earth when Moore, Oklahoma, experienced an F-5 tornado on May 3rd, 1999.

Jayce: Take a guess at the speed of the wind that day. The wind was recorded at 318 mph!!!

Sara: According to a recent article in the Tulsa World written by Bryan Painter, 66% of tornadoes recorded in
Oklahoma have occurred during the months of March to May.

Christian: Now that we've scared you to death, let's start out with telling you what a tornado is.

Cameron: According to Wikipedia, a tornado is a violent and dangerous storm with air that circulates.

Jayce: Conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur when

(1). The temperature of the air
(2). The air pressure
(3). The humidity

all combine.

Sara: Tornadoes kill approximately 60 people per year.

Christian: Meterologists collect this data so they can predict the weather.
Tornadoes are classified by using an F scale. F stands for Fujita Scale. The Fujita scale rates tornadoes by the damage they're capable of. the Fujita scale was developed in 1971 by 2 men at the University of Chicago. An F1 torndao is the weakest storm. An F5 tornado is the strongest storm. No one knows if storms are capable of developing an F6 tornado, but a category has been identified.

Cameron: Tornadoes are big and noisy. They sound like a freight train.

Jayce: Mesocyclone is a term you'll hear often. A mesocyclone is the original circulation the tornado was created from.

Sara: Tornadoes have what is called a vortex.

Christian: A vortex is the center of the tornado.

Cameron: Tornadoes create a huge vacume when the violent winds form the tornado.

Jayce: Tornadoes also form out of what we call a wall cloud. A wall cloud forms out of cumulonimbus clouds.

Sara: Tornado alerts are issued by the National Weather Service. Alerts are issue according to how the storms are developing. Tornado watches mean conditions are favorable for a tornado. Tornado warnings mean a tornado is on the ground.

Christian: There's never a good time for a tornado especially if you're at your Little League Baseball game or out shopping.
If you're outside at a baseball game, get in a tin horn or lay down in a low, depressed area.
Cameron: It's best to take shelter in an underground cellar or in a room at the center of your home or in the case of the students atTushka school on April 14th, take shelter in a safe room.

Jayce: One of the most famous storms to ever hit Oklahoma was the May 10th storm last year.

Sara: Television, radios, and the internet are used primarily to announce alerts.

Christian: Meterologists use sophisticated radars called Doppler Radars to track the storms.
They can tell us how strong the circulation is. They can also tell us the estimated time the storm will move into your area.

Cameron: Tornadoes can occur anytime even while we're at school. You might be wondering what happens when a tornado warning is issued and we are at school.
We are instructed to take cover in the bathrooms or if enough time is available we go to a local church and take cover in their basement.
Tornado sirens sound and they are loud. We have 2 tornado drills each school year.

Jayce: In Oklahoma we have Storm Chasers who are people trained to go out and chase the storms. They give eyewitness accounts of the storm. For
example, they might tell us that the storm is rain wrapped and difficult to see. They might also tell us if the funnel is lowering from the clouds.

Sara: We thought you might like to see us recreate a tornado. We got this idea from PBS.

Christian: To conduct this experiment, we are using 2 fans, 1 humidifier, 1 heat lamp, and a box.

Cameron: What we are hoping to show you is how wind drafts and moisture combine to make tornadoes.

Jayce: The inside of our box is black which we hope will help you see the tornado better.

Sara: I am going to plug the humidifier in and the light in.

Christian: I am going to turn the fans on low.

Cameron: I am now going to turn the fan on top on medium. And, leave the bottom fan on low.

Jayce: I am now going to turn the top fan on high. And, turn the bottom fan on medium.

Sara: I am now going to turn both fans on high.

Christian: We hope you will now be able to see the destruction to our houses and trees sitting inside the box.

Cameron: As we have demonstrated by using 2 fans, wind currents can create updrafts and straight winds.

Jayce: We hope we demonstrated that the fan on the top creating the updraft was more effective and powerful than the straight winds.

Sara: This concludes our presentation. Do you have any questions?

Christian: We would also like to invite you to see as we do some live broadcasts later this afternoon. We will stream our broadcast live
on FB and Twitter using UStream. We hope you can watch.

All: We'll blow you away!!

Meterologist David Payne's Twitter Post
Discovery Channel Storm Chasers
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Department of Emergency Management
NOAA Climate Teaching Resources
PBS: How To Make A Tornado
Where the Tornadoes Are
Weather Forecast May 10, 2010, Tornado

What Is A Safe Room?
Tornado Preparedness Tips for School Administrators

Fujita Tornado Damage Scale
Oklahoma May 3rd Compared to Tuscaloosa Tornado

Fujita Scale
Live Video Feeds of News Channel 4

Famous Tornadoes
Where To Take Shelter

Tornado Safety

Doppler radar
Oklahoma Photogallery

Oklahoma Photogallery May 3rd, 2010

PBS Photo Essay Tornadoes Across the Southwest

The Tornado Project Online

NOAA Photo Library

USA Today Dopler Radar Measures 318 mph Winds

Amatuer Video From Storm 5/23/11

Video From Storm 5/24/11

Time to travel to Yarmouth, Maine, where Mrs. Smith's students will teach us about nor'easters using a wiki called The Virtual Think Tank they've collaboratively created and located at:
Borrowing information from a college professor I had, we know we retain 95% of what we teach to others. We retain 85% of what we do. We retain 70% of what we discuss. Learning is active. I like to organize learning. Organize learning so that they students can analyze, evaluate, interpret, and synthesize. We will use an A-Z chart to identify characteristics of tornadoes and characteristics of nor'easters. Then we will reflect on the information we have gathered and illustrate what we have discovered within a Venn diagram, i.e. Alike But Different. The essential question: What does it mean when I say, "I understand?".

Our questions:
(1). If nor'easters can be 1,000 miles across in length, why is the center of the storm difficult to find?
(2). Are nor'easters called nor'easters because they travel a northeasterly direction?
(3). Do storm trackers track the storms?
(4). What type of warning system is in place to alert you of approaching storms?
(5). Were the riches from the ship wreck of the Whydah ever recovered?


- what are the most interesting things you learned from the other group this year about their home state?
- what do you like about Skype conversations?
- what new skill/information do you hope to learn over the summer?