It was last January, Friday the 13th no less, when meteorologist Justin Berk was let go from WMAR-TV. Though he was initially upset, it gave him an opportunity to start focusing on a new passion for developing apps. But he was surprised when his son Brendan, now 7, wanted to get involved. “I had about five apps I wanted to develop,” Berk says. “While I read them off, Brendan said, ‘I have an idea.’ I realized what he came up with, no one else was doing.” Brendan’s idea, now called Kid Weather and available for the iPhone and Android, is a weather-related app geared toward kids. There is a daily weather forecast with an avatar (either a boy, girl, cat, or dog) dressed for the conditions. Additionally, there is weather trivia and graphs that plot basic data. The target audience ranges from toddlers to 12-year-olds. “So much of this came out of the mind of my kid,” says Berk, who now teaches at Stevenson University. Since being released in November, the $1.99 app has seen success, being listed in iTunes’ “What’s Hot” section. For his part, Brendan explains, “Weather is cool because it’s outside and, sometimes, you can play in it. I like seeing what happens every week. Maybe it’s all sunny days or all but one. It’s just fun.”
A local meteorologist creates an app with his son.
Issue date: February, 2013