School Day at the K draws nearly 13,000 students for a course in weather

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's become a tradition in Kansas City. This is the 16th year for FOX 4's School Day at the K, as the FOX 4 Weather team takes over the home of the Royals.

It's a combination of the best of both worlds. For the 16th year, FOX 4's School Day at the K brought students from numerous local schools to Kauffman Stadium to see FOX 4 Chief Meteorologist Mike Thompson and his fellow weather experts don their professor caps for the day.

Close to 13,000 students crowded into the stadium's lower deck, as Thompson, along with Karli Ritter, Michelle Bogowith and Joe Lauria, delivered demonstrations of wind speed, and chemical reactions and how basic science is used to predict weather.

"The way we forecast weather is using science," Thompson explained. "We use math and science and physics and chemistry. All of these things come together to give us the information we need to forecast weather."

And every display of science was designed to be eye-popping and educational. Many students drove for hours to reach Kauffman Stadium, where their classroom science lessons came to life.

"I thought all of the chemical reactions were pretty cool, and the physics on the last experiment; that was definitely really cool," Kali Combes, a sixth-grader from Lebo, Kan., said.

"We did a dry ice experiment in our science class and it did the same thing," Savanah Stoyko, a sixth-grader from Holden, Mo., said. "We've heard about this stuff, but I'd never seen it for myself."

Even Royals players came to see their ballpark turned into a classroom for the day, including pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and designated hitter Billy Butler, who showed up with his daughter by his side.

"I have my own kids, and they come out and have fun," Butler said. "Just seeing everyone happy and enjoying themselves at the park. It means a lot to me."

"When you're a kid, you don't understand why you're studying math or science or anything of that nature," Thompson said. "It takes all of that to forecast weather."

This was the 16th year for School Day at the K, and Mike Thompson said the script for the event was more than 800 pages long. The 17th edition could be even bigger and better.

School Day at the K is still represented in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the world's largest weather school.

The Guinness Book Committee certified the record in 2009.

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