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Cedar Mill News
Volume 7, Issue 6


June 2009

weatherbugBonny Slope school gets a weather station

Bonny Slope Elementary School fourth grade teacher Jon Epstein has always been interested in weather, and was trying to figure out ways to share this interest with his students. He knew that, “real connections between content and students’ lives enhance and deepen learning. Weather is pretty well connected already, but I thought there was an opportunity to do something special. The Bonny Slope Community Organization (BSCO) is very supportive of educational enrichment and has a grant program that allowed us to pursue an option of a weather station we could put on the web in real time.”

Bonny Slope custodian James Mason, teachers Jon Epstein and Kris Taft work on getting the orientation for the wind vane correctly sited towards north during installation of the weather station. No, that's not snow, the school roof is white to reflect heat.

Last January, he began to do the research to write the grant application, which was approved. They purchased a Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station, and he and Spanish/Tech teacher Kris Taft and the custodians Steve, James, and Marvin installed it on the school roof.

The weather station is connected to the internet via the Beaverton School District web server. After installation, he says, “It took a couple weeks to work through technical issues in the school district to get the data sent out to the web. We’ve got a few improvements planned this summer like a taller pole and some guy wires for greater stability in winter storms.”

Four or five other classrooms at the school are using the weather data in their lessons. Jon says, “Just today I was teaching a lesson about ‘rate of change over time.’ It’s kind of abstract stuff for fourth graders. but they can easily get that it seemed to get much hotter faster yesterday than it did today—and they have the data to graph and back it up.”

And of course, there are kids who, as a result of this program, will get inspired (or deepen their inspiration) in science and math.

The Bonny Slope weather station is connected to the internet through a program of the Weather Underground, which has developed the world’s largest network of personal weather stations (almost 10,000 stations in the US and over 3,000 across the rest of the world). It’s available on the Mr. Epstein’s web page (teach.beavton.k12.or.us/~jonathan_epstein/) and is now also on the Cedar Mill News home page (cedarmill.org/news), along with data from another personal weather station in Terra Linda. Clicking on the image takes you to the Weather Underground statistics page that gives full details and history. Check it out!



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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291