Weather Makes Learning Science Fun!

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There are all kinds of ways to make Science fun these days.  We have robots, computers, and iPads in our classrooms. Large companies sponsor student events and competitions for everything from robotics to paper airplanes.

Another way to increase student engagement at all levels is through the weather.  Weather is an icebreaker for all of us at times, and is obviously something we think about every day as adults.  It’s what determines the type of clothing we wear and often what we do that day. But how can we drive excitement with our students?

That’s easy!  With a weather station.

Weather Stations

Most typical weather stations include instruments such as thermometers, barometers, wind vanes, and more.  These devices provide real-time, local weather data in a fun and educational way. In most cases, these are wireless devices and a relatively inexpensive tool, so they are easy to implement.

The historical data can be saved via a local PC or uploaded (automatically in some cases) to the cloud to be viewed in an iPad app.  Both can be used for graphical viewing to spot trends. In addition, they allow for an up close view for students to see how each instrument works.  Since the data is real-time, it’s easy for them follow and understand what is being measured.

There are several sources available to assist educators in getting involved with weather stations at school.  For example, WxObservation provides expert recommendations and comparisons on the best weather stations.  They describe popular features and how they’re used in a detailed manner. This is a great way into an entry-level weather station for your school.

Additional Educational Support

If you’re new to the concept of weather stations or have donor support, consider contacting WeatherSTEM.  This is a company that will supply schools with a custom painted weather station, weather cameras, and custom software for online viewing.  They also provide curriculum and lessons at different age levels for students. This is a great route to consider, but will require more funding than obtaining hardware and setting it up on your own.  WeatherSTEM works with many Universities and even some NFL football teams!

Furthermore, The Globe Program, sponsored by NASA and supported by several other federal agencies, uses weather stations in their student research reports.  The program “enables you and your class to engage in a collaborative, scientific exploration of the world around you, collaborating with teachers and students from around the world.”  This is yet another resource for educators to use when teaching their students.

Wrap-up

As you can see, weather stations are a wonderful tool for making learning science fun.  Perhaps the best part is that they span several subjects and are exciting for children of all ages.  Not only will they be learning about the weather, but also a new technology and perhaps even some networking material at the higher grade levels.  In addition to learning, weather stations can increase safety and severe weather preparedness for kids and local citizens alike. They enhance an active learning environment for everyone.

 

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