TechGYD | Applying Weather Station Within a School Project

While regulations across the country do not mandate schools to have a functioning weather project, they are a vital component of the learning environment. In fact, the recent increase in tragedies involving students participating in outdoor sports and activities in harsh weather conditions necessitate schools to install weather station projects to predict and warn students of hazardous weather condition. Additionally, a weather station can be a valuable resource to schools for a practical approach in various studies including geography, ICT, English, general science and other subjects. A weather station in school will enable the learner to think scientifically when attempting to solve life problem and can also be an integral part of the school's Weather Club, Environment Club or Science.

With the significant improvement in weather forecasting technology, setting up a weather station is now affordable by most schools even without grant funding. A school can choose between buying a traditional manual weather station or a wireless automatic weather station. A traditional manual weather station uses simple instruments to measure common weather elements including humidity, maximum and minimum temperature, wind and rainfall. Weather equipment of a traditional weather station include thermometers, a simple plastic rain gauge with measuring cylinder, small barometer, handheld anemometer, and a simple windsock. Readings from the instrument are done manually by students at certain times and recorded in a weather log book or spreadsheets.

A wireless automatic weather station, on the other hand, is quite expensive and involves sophisticated weather instruments that are placed both indoors and outdoors. Weather readings are relayed automatically via sensors to a central control station within the school. Automatic weather station can also measure temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind direction, and wind speed. The measurements are displayed and stored automatically on an indoor console with a simple screen interface.

school weather station

Factors to consider when setting up a school weather station project

A school weather station shouldn't about forecasting weather of an expansive area rather it should predict weather within the institution's compound. Therefore, it should be simple but with a high degree of accuracy. A correctly set up weather station should be away from buildings and trees with instruments for different weather elements set above the ground. For instance, thermometers for humidity and temperature be placed 1.2m from the ground, rainguage at 0.3m and windsock and anemometer at 10m.

Factors to consider when setting up a school weather station are similar to considerations when setting a personal weather station and are outlined below.

  • Purpose of the weather station- Schools may establish weather station for varied purposes. Others may just want to set up weather stations for general learning or to monitor weather conditions that may be risky for outdoor activities while others may want to set up sophisticated weather stations for research projects that require a very high degree of accuracy. The research may be involving other weather conditions such as Dew Point and UV and Solar Radiation that cannot be measured by a simple weather station.
  • Internet Connectivity- Internet connectivity is an essential factor when deciding between setting up a manual weather station and a wireless automatic weather station. When there is fast internet connectivity (Wi-Fi) within the school premises, then a wireless automatic weather station is recommended. This is because the station will automatically relay weather information on the school's website or an app.
  • Usability-School weather station should be easy to set up in addition to being user-friendly when operating. The weather instruments should, therefore, be basic and not technologically inclined.
  • Durability- Weather instruments stay out in hot, cold, rain and snow year-round therefore are highly susceptible to damage. It is therefore essential to go for high-quality models that would last a little bit longer.

To ensure a substantial degree of accuracy, a school weather station should be maintained after a short period. Erroneous results indicate lack of maintenance and are established by comparing the station's data with the nearest station. Maintenance practices include replacing batteries, confirming that the mounting pole is upright and removing any leaves that may have gathered in the collecting funnel.

To conclude, setting up a weather station within the school premises broadens the curriculum into environmental science and makes the study of science an engaging activity crucial for improving students' achievement in various subjects. With the advancement in technology, schools should at least set up an automatic weather station in which the students can accurately take weather measurements within their classroom and analyze them electronically to come up with a vital conclusion.

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TechGYD | Applying Weather Station Within a School Project TechGYD | Applying Weather Station Within a School Project Reviewed by Olaniran Shuaib on March 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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