AcuRite Who? Virginia School Children Create Homemade Weather Stations

AcuRite Who? Virginia School Children Create Homemade Weather Stations
Posted in: Who Uses AcuRite

AcuRite Who? Virginia School Children Create Homemade Weather Stations

Of all the topics taught in elementary school science, Julie Sherman believes that weather is just about the most important. As a 22-year veteran science teacher and Academic Support and Enrichment Coordinator at Grymes Memorial School in Orange, Virginia, Sherman recognizes the real-world impact that weather has on everyone — not just students.

“You want to talk about something that’s real-world?” Sherman quips. “People every single day check the weather for activities, events, and what they’re going to wear. It’s forever on your mind. Not to mention how weather impacts the environment, climate, and countless other ecosystems. It’s ever-present!”

To help her third-grade students grasp weather and its most common conditions, Sherman first instructs before giving students a hands-on task. Lessons include tutelage on temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and rain. Then, students are tasked with creating their own hand-made weather stations to measure the elements they’ve learned about.

“No matter the topic, the students first study and then build,” Sherman said. “We’ve been making weather stations since 2019, and they’re one of our favorite projects. So far, we’ve had some pretty DIY stations with flimsy thermometers, pill bottles for rain gauges, and paper ketchup cups for anemometers. And even though those are fun, we wanted to step our game up this year.”

A Grymes Third Grader's Weather Station

Enter AcuRite! A Virtual Classroom Visit

To help her students get first-hand experience interacting with weather enthusiasts, Sherman reached out via email to AcuRite after noticing its established brand, rich U.S.-based history, and wide range of dependable weather stations. Initially just wanting to learn how to calibrate anemometers and rain gauges, AcuRite staff connected with the class on a Google Meet to talk shop.

“Those guys did a phenomenal job with the kids,” Sherman said. “Watching Ryan talk about rain measurements and watching Bill talk about weather in general — they both did such a good job to talk specifically about how they engineered AcuRite weather instruments and how it works.”

Bill Boss, VP of E-Commerce and Marketing, and Ryan Torgerson, Sr. Product Designer, enjoyed their chat with students at Grymes Memorial School and saw their passion for weather. To feed that passion, AcuRite donated a brand new AcuRite Atlas® Weather Station with a Direct-to-Wi-Fi Display and Lightning Detection to Sherman’s classroom.

Classroom Activities with an AcuRite Atlas

To say the AcuRite Atlas was a hit in Sherman’s classroom would be an understatement. Compared to their own homemade weather stations, the AcuRite Atlas fascinated students with its three-wind-cupped anemometer (instead of four plastic spoons) and self-emptying rain gauge.

“The kids just love it,” Sherman said. “They said it looks like a spaceship! And the water collection sensor reminded them of those huge buckets of water that tip over at waterparks.”

Beyond being excited about the AcuRite Atlas’s looks, the students are eager to use the AcuRite Atlas to study weather patterns specific to their location. The plan — once the outdoor sensor is installed — is for third grade students to use the indoor digital display to read temperature, humidity, and other conditions before writing them down in a chart. Students will look back at previous days’ weather to notice patterns and hopefully be able to predict upcoming weather conditions.

Julie Sherman unboxing the Acurite Atlas

“The kids were excited about weather before the Atlas, but now that they’ve seen the ins and outs of how it works, oh man!” Sherman said. “They now have something real and accurate that they can point to, see the wind cups spinning, and read just how many miles-per-hour that wind is blowing.”

Going forward, students may use the AcuRite Atlas to provide weather announcements in the mornings or at assemblies. They’ll also use this ground-level understanding of weather in future educational units, like biomes, U.S. geography, and energy.

“I can’t wait for them to study flora and fauna, plus the Rockies and the plains,” Sherman said. “Then we’ll go into conduction, convection, radiation, prisms, and lightning. It’s all weather! Having this AcuRite station helps us connect it all together.”

Stay tuned for more updates from Grymes Memorial School as they get their AcuRite Atlas up and running!

May 14, 2024
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