La Grange Elementary School is located in North Carolina, where regional weather patterns during the school year can include everything from heat waves to ice storms. As we like to help kids stay active and get outdoors while still maintaining safety as our top priority, the weather affects how we think about our school and lesson plans. Weather is also a focal point in our fifth grade science program. For these reasons, we think that implementing a school weather program with weather tools from AcuRite will help improve our students’ growth in the Earth Science fields.
Weather Affects School Activities
One of the trends we have noted in our testing data is that our students struggle with Earth Systems, structures, and processes. This is always our lowest area of mastery on our assessments. The school’s staff and educators believe that having access to AcuRite weather instruments will help improve our students’ understanding of Earth Systems and interest in their general science education. This deeper involvement with the science curriculum would be thanks to the hands-on experience that comes with using the school's weather station and firsthand knowledge of learning from its weather predictions. We also think it would be beneficial to run our own climate study based on the data gathered from the instruments at our school!
Installed School Weather Station
We have received all the parts and pieces for our AcuRite Atlas®! We are working on installing the school weather station kit as soon as possible. We were worried the concrete footing for the post would not be able to set properly, as humidity and temperature largely affect concrete-curing times. Also, the ground was soggy and waterlogged, so even the ground itself needed time to dry out! After waiting out the storm — literally eight straight days battling torrential downpours during all the usual back-to-school tasks — we were finally able to get the weather station up and running!
Weather Lesson Plans and Weather Curriculum
This year, La Grange Elementary will be utilizing our AcuRite Atlas weather station to better teach students how to predict weather using common instruments such as the rain gauge, anemometer, wind vane, and thermometer. The weather station will also grant the students real-world experience with what a weather station looks like and its components, which will help unravel some common misconceptions; for example, students think the weather instruments are all separate and that they must be read in person. We are currently setting up WLGES, which is a school-run TV program that will incorporate data from the weather station to broadcast our own weather updates.
We hold morning announcements via Zoom – this year, the students who are the guest hosts will use the weather station to inform the rest of the students about the current weather conditions in La Grange. Encouraging them to have such involvement in the school weather report will hopefully help kids feel connected to the learning material and its real-life applications.
Our fifth grade students will be studying Earth Sciences for the first nine weeks of the year. This area of science focuses on understanding, measuring, analyzing, and predicting weather from patterns, trends, and instruments. This will also help us to graph rainfall and temperature, determine our climate, and make predictions for the upcoming school year based on the readings from this year.
As we learn about weather tools and how they allow meteorologists to predict our daily and weekly weather, we will soon be starting our student newscasters and meteorologists to share this weather insight during our morning announcements. In a few weeks, we will discuss the difference between climate and weather and how data from weather stations helps us become better at predicting both.