A behind the scenes look at The Weather Authority’s new Degrees of Science program

Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The KWTX weather team is offering a new online program exploring topics related to science and the guests appearing are a “who’s who” in STEM related fields.

The show is led by KWTX Meteorologists Brady Taylor and Camille Hoxworth.

“Degrees of Science is really cool,” Brady said. “We get a chance to sit down and have one-on-one conversations with experts in the fields of science and STEM related careers to, not only tell us what they do, but just also how they got involved in those careers.”

“It’s a really neat project that we get to do because we get to learn all about what’s happening on our planet, outside of our planet with our ecosystems, and ultimately, how it helps better us as well,” Camille added.

Guests who have already appeared in the first few weeks include everyone from a woman who discovered 60 planets, to the first Black astronaut to perform a space walk and a hurricane hunter.

Lt. Col. Jeremy DeHart spoke one-on-one with Brady about his job as a hurricane hunter who serves as a weather officer. He helps get information to the Hurricane Center so they can tell the intensity and location of storms.

“We will actually go fly to an estimated center coordinates and then as we enter the storm environment I will call turns out to the pilots and the navigators up front ‘10 degrees to the right , 5 degrees to the left,’ watching the winds, watching the data come into the airplane and use that to fix what we call the exact center of the storm.”

Former NASA Astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris was born in Temple in 1956 and served on two space shuttle missions. He was the first Black astronaut to perform a spacewalk and told Brady he wears that distinction as a badge of honor.

“I don’t carry that title lightly because the moment in which I had done my spacewalk it had been 30 years since the first American walk-in space and so it took that long for a person of color to actually go out and do that spacewalk,” Harris said.

“I remember getting a call from then President Clinton congratulating me along with others about some of the accomplishments of that mission and I told him ‘Mr. President - I may be the first but would not be the last’ and that was prophetic of course because we’ve had multiple people of color who have been involved in building the international space station and in building the space program.”

Harris is a doctor who served as a crew medical officer while helping with research. He’s now working to promote the growth of STEM education for underrepresented kids.

“It’s a fascinating career,” Harris added.

Camille Hoxworth also contributes to the weekly show.

She’s interviewed Joey Picca, a meteorologist that served as a consultant for the series “America the Beautiful” streaming on Disney+.

Picca talked about his experience leading a plane up to storms that produced tornadoes as he was hired to help a crew get good aerial footage needed for the program.

“It’s not everyday somebody comes along and says ‘hey, I’ve got this plane and I want to go fly around thunderstorms. Can you help me with that?” Picca laughed.

Degrees of Science episodes are uploaded to the KWTX Degrees of Science page every Tuesday.

It’s also available at Degrees of Science - YouTube.

The guest next week will be the author of “B is for Beekeeping.”