Friday, March 15, 2002
High school weather station looks skyward
This year students at Concord- Carlisle High School will be able to utilize a new weather station that was bought with a grant from the Concord Education Fund. Piercing the skies over CCHS is the new weather station which includes instruments to record temperature, pressure, wind speed and direction as well as rain totals in Concord.
The weather station will be used by Earth Science students at CCHS to look at trends through the weather. But the station's uses are not restricted to earth science students alone; all the kids have an opportunity to join a meteorology club that has been started for interested students to collect data from the machine and start making simple forecasts from the information.
The weather station collects data every day, which is transmitted into a classroom in CCHS. In the classroom, the information is stored in a database that will save the figures over time. Earth science teachers will then be able to use the collected measurements to help students determine record highs and lows at the school and analyze information that they receive by making plots and graphs.The system is also connected to a network of other stations around the globe. The network consists of over a thousand different stations so students and teachers can compare the trends at CCHS with other schools and locations around the world.
Jeffrey Yuhas is one of the earth science teachers at CCHS who will be helping his students use the new station. He says that the best part about the weather station is the way students will benefit from having actual information to study. "It is always better for me," Yuhas explains, "if I can talk about and show the actual temperature, or I can talk about what you can see when the pressure drops outside. The kids can look out the window, see it getting cloudy, and see a storm coming."
"I have always enjoyed the weather," Yuhas confesses, "and now I have a tool that lets me share that with my students and the kids in the classroom." Yuhas says he likes helping other students get interested in one of his favorite subjects. "I mostly look forward to having a tool that allows me to share an interest of my own with my students, and get them excited to see what is going on right outside."
Ray Pavlik, another earth science teacher at the high school, also uses the weather station with his students. Pavlik agrees with Yuhas by saying that the students will be able to understand the ideas behind earth science much easier now that they have an instrument that will collect data and help them look at trends. "Basically it makes learning earth science much more real," Pavlik explains. "It gives them a system to monitor every day, and data to accumulate over time to look at trends in the weather system."
Pavlik says the best part about it is that the school now owns this equipment, so the teachers will have a much easier time relating the subject to real life. "Instead of making up numbers, now we have real authentic information that both the teachers and the kids can use." The equipment was purchased after Yuhas submitted a proposal to the Concord Ed Fund last year. The proposal, which was for just under $10,000, was enthusiastically granted by the Ed Fund Board since it provided a stellar example of using community-donated funds to drive innovative new learning initiatives in our schools.The new weather station also has a variety of uses outside the classroom. For one, the meteorology club will be able to look at in-depth observations from the information. Yuhas hopes to let students, who are part of the club, work with the high school radio station, WIQH, to prepare forecasts on the radio.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito