FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Did you know that lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun? This is just one of many facts approximately 120 eighth-grade students learned during a weather presentation led by Paul Heggen, a meteorologist with local news affiliate CBS 17, at Albritton Middle School on Fort Bragg, Feb. 7.The students explored the topic of natural hazards, weather facts, and disasters as part of their science curriculum. He explained that hail can fall at 95 miles per hour, similar to the "speed of a Major League Baseball pitch.""It's important to give first-hand experience to students about meteorology and provide awareness of the career field," said Karen Pozniak-Robins, 8th grade science teacher. "The students learn what to do during severe weather and natural disasters. I have them think about 10 years in the future, whether they will live in a coastal region or further inland. During weather disasters in those areas, we discuss what they are going to do and what safety precautions they should take."A weather enthusiast since the age of 4 and later a storm chaser, Heggen has been a television meteorologist for 20 years."Anytime I get the chance to talk about science to kids of any age, I always take the opportunity," said Heggen. "My goal every school year is to talk to as many kids as possible about science literacy in general."The students received an inside look behind weather science, television meteorology, and had the opportunity to engage questions toward the end of the presentation."We've been learning about natural hazards and disasters at the beginning of the school year," said Talon Alexander, an 8th grade student. "I'm a big fan of nature and find it interesting. One of the questions I'd like to ask is who comes up with the mitigation plan when it comes to storms?"Depending on the gravity of the storm type, Heggen states that local governments, either the city, county or state determines the plans and make adjustments as needed."To me, learning to identify what to do during natural disasters is a real-life skill," said Pozniak-Robins. "With the wild fires in Australia and California, earth quakes in Puerto Rico, volcanic eruptions in the Philippines, and the recent tornado warnings in our area during a storm system, application of this life skill is critical for one's overall safety."For students interested in the career field, Heggen added that one "shouldn't worry about the T.V. side of it, that's easy. Focus on the science side and have that be your primary concern. Study as much math as possible."