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WFTV Launches Severe Weather Learning Center

“Careers for Life” Health Exhibit Opens at the Orlando Science Centerõጀࠀ

Florida’s Orlando Science Center (OSC) introduced a new weather exhibit, the

“Severe Weather Center 9 Experience,” this month. Produced by Ocoee, Fla.-based FX Design Group for Cox Media’s WFTV-WRDQ Orlando, the “Severe Weather Center 9 Experience” is a new themed interactive educational environment where OSC visitors can learn how to become a meteorologist and present a weather forecast.

The immersive exhibit is designed to teach the visitor what is required to become a meteorologist; introduce them to the tools used to deliver the daily weather forecast during the news broadcast; and let them deliver a weather forecast “on-air” just as the WFTV meteorologist would do.

WFTV hired FX to design and fabricate the exhibit, which resembles a real weather set. WFTV chose FX for the project because of FX’s 20-plus years designing, fabricating and installing news sets. FX designed, built and installed WFTV’s entire news set in 2007.

WFTV’s creative team developed the idea for the exhibit as a way for the station to reach out to the local community. “We are thrilled with the exhibit. From set design to content production it has exceeded our expectations. What this experience will bring to OSC visitors and to WFTV is invaluable. Being able to interact with Central Florida students and families in this way brings a new dimension to our weather product. We are now able to teach visitors all about Florida weather while extending the Eyewitness News weather brand to a new audience”, said Bob St. Charles, the stations’ creative services director.


The “Severe Weather Center 9 Experience” includes several interactive and self-contained stations where visitors can learn about the weather that takes place in their own town. Exhibit elements include:

  • Via pre-recorded messages, WFTV’s meteorologist explain what is required of the job, a “day-in-the-life-of” a weather forecaster and what tools they use to help keep Central Florida viewers safe.
  • Two interactive weather stations provide guests an opportunity to test their own weather knowledge. Here they can learn more about some of nature’s true natural phenomena – hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes.
  • A complete weather desk ensemble with a split-screen interactive exercise requiring the visitor to view weather data and then create a weather forecast for a news program which is about to take place.
  • A green-screen station where guests become “On-Air” talent to present a weather forecast, with a fixed camera and pre-approved teleprompter script for the guest to read. the actual weather forecast is visible to an audience via multiple viewing monitors.

The “Severe Weather Center 9 Experience” exhibit is available to science centers and museums around the United States. It was designed to be a scalable exhibit to accommodate different venues with varying footprints of availability and is conducive to corporate sponsorship opportunities.

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