WIS-TV weatherman visits Heath Springs Elemementary

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By Jesef Williams

HEATH SPRINGS – When Ben Tanner visited Heath Springs Elementary School on Wednesday, he was treated a little like a rock star.

As the Columbia weatherman walked inside the building, he was greeted with screams, posters, thunder sounds and weather-esque music.

But Tanner didn't come to play the star. He came to educate.

After taking pictures with the entire student body in the gym, he spoke with the fourth-graders about weather.

Tanner, a meteorologist at WIS-TV, gave a presentation about tropical storms. The group talked about Hurricane Ike and other recent storms. He passed out hurricane tracker sheets and showed the students how to use coordinates.

He urged them to watch the weather reports every morning to keep up with the progress of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Heath Springs Elementary Principal Sheri Watson said Tanner's visit tied in perfectly, because the fourth-graders are studying meteorology in their science classes this year.

"We were very excited," Watson said. "The field trips just aren't easy to do, so it's real nice to bring somebody like that in."

Tanner was expected to have mentioned his visit to Heath Springs Elementary during his morning forecast Thursday morning. On Wednesday, he told the students that he would also air some pictures they took there.

Tanner said he enjoys visiting schools and speaking to students.

"If they're interested in me coming, I'm always more than happy to do it," he said.

An Atlanta native, Tanner earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master of geoscience degree in meteorology from Mississippi State University.

He holds both the American Meteorological Society's Television Seal of Approval and National Weather Association's Seal of Approval.

He's been at WIS for 10 years.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152