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Australian Storm Spotters Visit CCCCD Tech Camp Students

Australian Storm Spotters Visit CCCCD Tech Camp Students

JUNE 17 , 2002 - Students in Collin County Community College District's Tech Camp 2002 learned the value of wireless communication firsthand from Australian storm spotters.

Two Australians visited the campers after their recent storm-spotting trip through Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado and Texas.

Tech Camp 2002 is a high-tech summer experience designed to bring math and science to life for local students entering grades 7 - 10 in fall 2002. The camp is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Brandenburg Life Foundation, Texas Instruments, Nortel Networks and Ericsson.

More than 8,000 miles away in Australia twisters are called "willy willies," but Australians are the first to admit that these storms are powerful forces that require respect. According to the storm spotters, the highlight of the U.S. visit was seeing two multi-vortex tornadoes in Northeast Texas.

"There were a lot of spinning vortices underneath the main funnel. Quite often a violent tornado starts that way. I like the fact that you can plan for a chase and pick a target area for the most intense weather you can get. It is a challenge, and it is never the same because weather is always changing," said Jimmy Deguara, math teacher and president of the Australian Severe Weather Association.

The dynamic force of storms is one of the many things Deguara shared with the campers. He and fellow Australian Matthew Piper, meteorologist for the Weather Company in Australia, not only described their adventures, but also talked about the value of communication in disaster settings, storm safety and storm development.

Tech Camper Jeremy Llewellyn, a student at Richardson North Junior High School, learned that the weather services in Australia are not as advanced as they are in the U.S. along with some other interesting facts.

"They told us that tornadoes in Australia go counter clockwise, the opposite of tornadoes here. I did not even think of that," he said.

For more information about Tech Camp, visit or contact the CCCCD Engineering Technology Department at 972-377-1715.