Connecticut Elementary School Uses AcuRite for Introduction to Weather Awareness
Weather! It’s — literally — all around us. So, best to start learning about it when you’re young! And what better way than with an AcuRite weather station? Such is the case for students at Carrington Elementary School in Waterbury, Connecticut, who’ve recently begun discovering the world of weather with help from an AcuRite Atlas® Weather Station.
“One of my main classroom goals is to create curiosity about the natural world around my students,” says Rachel Murray, science teacher at Carrington. “A weather station is a great learning tool that helps create questions and new thoughts from seeing environmental changes outside and on the display screen.”
Weather Station Acquisition
Murray’s interest in and fascination with weather started from a young age, as she recalls watching thunderstorms roll in from under a covered porch with her grandmother in Connecticut. These days, she knows there’s always something more to learn about weather and sought out a weather station to help her students understand more about the environment around them.
She came across AcuRite online and decided on an AcuRite Atlas Weather Station for her classroom. She figured the station would benefit her seventh- and eighth-grade science classes, as well as the science labs she teaches for fifth- and sixth-grade students. Carrington is a 10-year-old small neighborhood school that teaches Pre-K through 8th grade, and this AcuRite Atlas is its first weather station — setting students up for a surprise.
What is That? An Outdoor Hypothesis
Murray knew many, if not all, of her students had never seen a weather station before. She took this knowledge and turned it into a learning opportunity. After getting some help from custodial staff to mount the wireless outdoor sensor and setting up the indoor display, Murray took her students outside for a micro, nearby field trip.
“I actually didn’t tell my students that we were getting a weather station,” Murray said. “We went outside, I pointed to the weather station mounted on the wall, and I asked them to hypothesize what we were looking at. The answers were all across the board, and the students were very excited once they figured out it was a weather tool.”
Incorporating the Weather Station Into Lessons
Following the short trip outside, the first lesson to involve the weather station focused on weather terms. Murray defined every weather instrument of the AcuRite Atlas and taught the class what each measured. Then she divided the class into groups, gave each group a term — like relative humidity, dew point, cardinal direction, etc. — to research, and then connected each term with the corresponding instrument on the outdoor weather sensor.
“It’s so neat watching the students connect the outside world to the indoor measurement,” Murray said. “You can just see them putting it together as they look outside, see the wind cups moving, and then look at the display to see the 11-mile-per-hour reading.”
Going forward, the AcuRite Atlas will be part of a year-long project. Murray plans to set aside 10 minutes each class for students to collect their hyperlocal weather data from their My AcuRite remote monitoring website and add it to a chart on a classroom wall. As the graph’s data collection grows, it’ll be an evidence-based tool to teach climate and weather trends. The class may even get some additional buzz from local news.
“I have a connection to a local TV station here in Waterbury,” Murray said. “At the end of the year, I’d love to have them come in and do a story on our complete, year-long weather graph. It would highlight the students’ hard work and the awesome data provided by the weather station.”
2/14/24 Edit: Carrington Elementary was visited by WFSB Meteorologist Jill Gilardi on February 8, 2024! Jill talked about weather, her career, and the students' new weather station! View photos at Jill's facebook post, here. Thanks, Jill!