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WFAA meteorologist Mariel Ruiz visits Beckham Elementary pre-K
Posted in , on October 26, 2023

WFAA meteorologist is a Bowie High School grad

Every hand shot up.

“Who wants to tell me your favorite kind of weather?” Mariel Ruiz, WFAA Channel 8 meteorologist, had just asked a room full of more than 50 pre-K students at Beckham Elementary.

The most popular answer: tornados.

That’s also the typical forecast for a room full of dozens of 4-year-olds.

WFAA meteorologist Mariel Ruiz visits Beckham Elementary pre-KBut not on this day. The Beckham STEM lab was quiet, full of eager listeners excited to learn about weather, including several students in costumes for the event – a cloud, the sun, a rainbow and even a future meteorologist complete with a sport coat, tie and microphone.

Ruiz, an Arlington native and Bowie High School grad, made the special visit to Beckham last week to help 4-year-olds learn about weather and what a meteorologist is.

See the photos.

“It is so important to talk to kids while they are young about the weather and our environment,” Ruiz said about her Beckham visit. “The earlier we learn about our world, the longer time we have to develop a deep love, appreciation and care for it.”

After explaining to the students what she does as a meteorologist – and finding out that tornados are popular among this demographic – Ruiz read them a book about different kinds of weather.

“We see hail in Texas,” she said after reading the hail page.

“Texas! I live in Texas!” one 4-year-old exclaimed.

The visit from Ruiz came at the perfect time as fall rolls in and temperatures drop.

“We work hard in pre-K to teach our students to be scientists and investigate,” said Beckham pre-K teacher Christy Small. “We’re currently studying changes in weather and the job of a weather scientist. We [Beckham’s pre-K classes] watched Mariel’s daily forecast leading up to her visit. Such an AMAZING experience to have her visit!”

Her visit wasn’t just educational, it was also inspirational. She connected with the students in a special way since she grew up in Arlington, went to nearby Hale Elementary and Barnett Junior High and is Hispanic and bilingual like many of Beckham’s pre-K students.

WFAA meteorologist Mariel Ruiz visits Beckham Elementary pre-K“I also loved that she’s not a ‘weatherman,’ but rather a meteorologist who is also a woman,” Small said. “Being Latina was also a wonderful example for all of our Spanish-speaking students.”

Ruiz is well aware of the impact she can have.

“I believe in the power of education and representation to inspire the next generation of scientists and problem solvers,” Ruiz said. “By showing up to schools, I can support and encourage young minds to pursue careers in science, tech, engineering, arts and mathematics no matter how different our backgrounds may be.”

Enroll in pre-K today

It’s not too late to enroll your 3- or 4-year-old in Arlington ISD’s inspirational pre-K, where kids are exploring, investigating, growing and having tons of fun. Visit to learn about all of Arlington ISD pre-K programs and to register.