Case Study: WeatherBug Schools Learning Begins when the Tracking Station Arrives; Terreset Elementary School, Arlington, VA
Terreset Elementary School located just outside of Washington D.C. has been a part of the WeatherBug Schools Program since April 2000. Anne Savage, Terreset Elementary School's resource teacher, was one of the driving forces behind getting the school to join the program.
Students Reporters Cover Tracking Station Installation
As soon as the program was up and running, Anne created a special project that turned her entire class into student reporters! Since Terreset's main building is built into a hillside, the school outsourced the installation of their WeatherBug Tracking Station due to the complex nature of their structure.
Anne asked her students to "shadow" the installers during the installation process. Her unusual assignment ignited excitement and sparked an immediate connection with the Weatherbug Tracking Station. Anne came up with the idea to turn her students into reporters "mainly as a way of documenting and sharing with future students" and stated that "incoming students readily connect with how the Tracking Station is used based on the reports from the installation that the students wrote."
From the minute the Tracking Station arrived at the school the children were excited. They had spent weeks prior to its arrival researching and learning about the weather and instruments found on their WeatherBug Tracking Station. They learned how the Master Control Unit and Internet Weather Transmitter worked to automatically convey weather information into their classroom and prepared for Anne's upcoming student reporting project.
Anne's students prepared questions for the installers and went on a "treasure" hunt to map the location of the WeatherBug Tracking Station. Step by step, the installers showed her students the wires, explained their connections, and talked about what information they transferred to their classroom. Anne also taught her students how to create and link web pages and insert the pictures that they had taken during the Tracking Station installation. Each of the students then wrote about the project for their school website.
Bringing the Real World into Your School
Anne commented that the Tracking Station benefits the students in ways that the teachers had not anticipated when they decided to become part of the WeatherBug Schools Program. They put the digital display in a window in a hallway that students pass to go outdoors for recess. "Now they are not thinking about the weather in terms of hot or cold, they are thinking about other related weather conditions. They now realize that wind speed is not constant and that it can change from moment to moment."