“Yeah, I’m so excited. I’m most happy that my friends and family are going to see me on TV,” Duncan said about the coming adventure. “I’m so excited!”
“It started one night one night when it was sorta stormy out,” Duncan said.He wondered why it was raining, and why the lighting struck.
“I became very interested in weather,” the young meteorologist explained.
“He’s really always been obsessed with it,” said his dad, Ben, a math teacher at Smithfield High School.
So, when Duncan’s grandmother told Ben and him about The Weather Channel’s essay contest to win an appearance on the channel, Ben and Duncan were both very excited about the prospect of entering and even winning.
So Duncan set to work writing the essay, with an assist from his dad.
“I wanted to work on his writing with him,” so it was a teachable moment for the highly motivated Duncan. The two worked on the essay together for about a month and a half, Ben said.
They submitted the essay via The Weather Channel’s online application, and waited to see if Duncan had won. They only had to wait about a week, Ben said.
Duncan made the first round of about 50 finalists, and four winners were to be selected following a series of Skype interviews. Duncan and Ben prepared a script, and set up an impromptu weather map with clouds and sun markers Duncan’s mom, Christine, an art teacher at Blackstone school in Massachusetts, had designed.
There was a problem printing the script in time, so Duncan had to improvise without it, Ben said.
“So he just did an impromptu weather forecast and he nailed it,” Ben said.
Judging criteria included poise, creativity and overall love of meteorology, according to The Weather Channel. Lands’ End, in partnership with The Weather Channel, announced Duncan among the winners last week.
Duncan was selected with three other young people to visit Atlanta to make their weather presentations on AMHQ and Weather Underground.
- Brayden S., Age 16, Buna, TX
- Tyler H., Age 15, Hampton, NH
- Katarina S., Age 8, Crofton, MD
“At Lands’ End we have a passion for education,” said Matt Trainor, senior vice president, brand creative at Lands’ End. “This summer, we are thrilled to partner with The Weather Channel to create this unique educational opportunity for these bright young meteorologists. Their essay submissions and interviews exceeded all of our expectations, and we’re excited to watch them live on-air.”
“The Weather Channel is a science-based network,” said Angela Massie, The Weather Channel SVP of Live Storytelling. “It is important for us to foster fascination with science and weather in kids, and we are so happy to partner with Lands’ End to make these budding meteorologists’ dreams come true.”
The contest is part of a larger effort by Lands’ End to encourage kids to enjoy the discovery of things they never knew as part of their “Love Learning” initiative. This year, the focus is to encourage children to learn about the importance and influence of weather.
Duncan, who will attend second grade in the fall, knows exactly what he’ll say about his summer now.
“I will say that it’s been fun. Fun, fun, fun, fun – super fun!” Duncan said.
A copy of Duncan’s winning essay is embedded below:Ducan Robertson Weather Essay