News from the Aurora University community

Channel 2 meteorologist spends sunny morning with STEM school students

Posted by on May 24, 2016

CB2weathertruckTornadoes, blizzards, hurricanes — the life of a broadcast meteorologist is never dull. Just ask Mary Kay Kleist, anchor of the weekend weather desk at CBS Channel 2 in Chicago.

Kleist visited the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School on the campus of Aurora University May 23. During a 45-minute presentation, the Emmy-Award-winning meteorologist talked about weather and her career in broadcasting, as well as encouraged students to build their own careers doing what they love most.

Kleist then took all 200 STEM school students outdoors to appear in a live 11 o’clock newscast from one of Channel 2’s mobile weather units, an SUV decked out with cameras, radar and other weather monitoring equipment.

“We invite our corporate and not-for-profit partners to bring STEM experiences to our students through presentations, virtual field trips and real field trips,” said Arin Carter, director of the STEM partnership school. “We also invite our parents to share their STEM careers. We’ve had a veterinarian come talk and an engineer. One of our student’s father works at CBS and he helped organize this event.”

Not only are the topics interesting to students, according to Carter, these activities help introduce students to a wide variety of STEM careers available to them. She said that the visit from Channel 2 was well timed; in class, students were just wrapping up an academic unit on weather.

With two days left to go in the school year, Kleist talked about summer weather safety, giving facts about weather phenomena and providing tips on how to avoid being hit by lightening (“When thunder roars, go indoors!”) and what to do in case of a tornado warning (head for the basement).

Seventh grader Zach Frye, who plans to pursue a career in either nature photography or chemistry, helped deliver the weather report on camera. “I thought the presentation was awesome,” he said. “I never knew that you could be hit by lightening 10 miles away from the storm.”

For more information about the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School, visit