UL weather station goes on-line

Belmont County residents now have on-line access to the latest local weather information through the Union Local Schools weather station located at the elementary school. Funded by the Broughton Foundation through Ohio State University Extension, the weather station was purchase for use by 4th and 5th grade science classes to engage young learners in exploring the weather and also streams live weather data, real time (approximately 3 second updates) to the weatherUnderground. com Website.

The solar powered weather station includes an integrated sensor suite which combines a rain collector, temperature and humidity sensors, and anemometer into one package. Quick view icons show the forecast at a glance-sunny, partly sunny, cloudy, rain or snow-while a moving ticker-tape display gives more details.

“Weather information for local residents is just a small part of the benefits of the new weather station at Union Local,” explained Polly Loy, OSU Extension Educator and grant writer for the project. “The console and wireless receiver provides forecasting, on-screen graphing, and much more for students to interact with through their classroom computers. It is a great opportunity to utilize the latest technology and learn about the science of weather.”

In addition to purchasing the hardware and software for the weather station, Broughton grant funds were used to provide copies of the teacher’s guide “Weather Together,” a Science Alive in the Classroom 4-H curriculum. Students will be introduced to the study of meteorology, explore weather related patterns, identify types of clouds and make weather predictions from collected data.

“We are excited about the hands on opportunity for real life learning that the weather station provides to our students,” remarked Ron Bober, Union Local Elementary School Principal. “Our teachers and students are enthusiastic about learning about both weather and technology.”

Fourth and fifth grade science teachers Sherry Lucas, Kathy Coleman and Mary Ann Kemp are planning lessons which will include investigations and experiments with dew point, air pressure, graphing temperatures and wind speeds, global climate change and more.

The establishment of the weather station at Union Local is part of the ongoing Trail Blazing Campaign to develop a nature/fitness trail on the 100 acre campus site for educational and recreational use by students, faculty and the community. To access the live webcast of weather conditions from Union Local School, go to weatherunderground.com and enter “Belmont, OH” in the search line.