Meteorologist Geoff Bansen visits LI school for special needs as part of weather unit

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News 12 Meteorologist Geoff Bansen visited a school for students with special needs in Port Washington as part of its school-wide weather unit. 

Bansen met with both the lower and upper school students at the Vincent Smith School (VSS) on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

The Vincent Smith School (VSS) is an independent, special education school for grades 1-12. Teachers in the school had been preparing the students with weather activities, including a weather journal, for several days before Bansen’s visit.

“Our mission is, ‘We teach kids differently because every child learns differently,’” says John Baldi, the head of school.

Bansen engaged students in hands-on activities and demonstrations, including a tornado in a bottle, a homemade cloud, as well as a device that creates powerful winds. 

 
User: Vincent Smith School To: link

 
“Bringing in real-life people makes it like real life,” says Dean of Students Lois Dierlam. “It’s a lot better than watching it on TV, and it’s much more engaging for our students. And they need to learn differently, so we utilize all avenues to ensure that happens.”

The students and teachers were so inspired by Bansen’s visit that they created the “VSS News” just days later.

Many Vincent Smith School students sent Bansen thank you videos and thank you letters.

“I never imagined in my wildest thoughts I would ever think that weather and meteorology could be that interesting,” wrote one Vincent Smith School student in a letter.

Bansen says that he greatly enjoyed being part of the culmination of their hard work. He says he hopes his visit inspired at least one budding scientist. 


“The kids were so excited, it might as well have been Beyonce coming,” says Baldi.

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