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WeatherSTEM installs weather station at UWF John C. Pace Library

Yesterday, WeatherSTEM, a community centered weather network for schools, installed a weather unit on top of the University of West Florida John C. Pace Library. This unit serves as WeatherSTEM’s donation side for Escambia County and is available for use to all district schools to receive live data and classroom lessons.

“The College of Science, Engineering and Health is excited to collaborate with WeatherSTEM to bring this technology to the Pensacola area for use in the classroom and research environments,” said Dr. Michael Huggins, dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Health. “We are always looking for innovative ideas and opportunities to enhance the educational experiences of UWF students in STEM, as well as K-12 students in our area.”

University students, faculty and researchers are able to utilize the system to collect live and archived weather data while also integrating their own instruments with the system for easy data collection and access. The UWF athletics department, as well as local middle and high school sports teams, have the ability to utilize the lightning detection and Wet Bulb Globe Temperature features to stay safe on the field.

Dr. Jason Ortegren, associate professor of environmental studies, said the real-time accessibility of the WeatherSTEM data provides a perfect opportunity to combine classroom learning with active learning.

“The WeatherSTEM system will allow me to incorporate the data in daily discussions about the impacts of real-time changes in atmospheric variables,” said Ortegren. “I also plan to assign preliminary data explorations and descriptive analyses of the phenomena that explain the recent weather. I think these exercises will strongly enhance the tangible aspects of the sometimes abstract concepts and help students internalize those concepts.”

WeatherSTEM units are currently located in nearly 75 schools in Florida and Alabama. Upon installation, the data is available instantly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To retrieve data, users can visit a website or receive alerts through a Facebook application. The unit’s cloud camera captures a photo every minute and produces a movie at the end of the day, which is also available online and through the app.

“Meteorology is an engaging, accessible scientific discipline that can be used to stoke student interest in science and math,” said Edward Mansouri, WeatherSTEM chief executive officer and founder. “Working with big data is going to be a critical job skill.”

WeatherSTEM will hold two training sessions for faculty and researchers interested in using the system on Monday, April 20 and Tuesday, May 5.

For more information or to register for a session, contact Cheyenna Novotny at convent@weatherstem.com.