District collaborates with local scientists on weather station

Palisades School District  |  Posted on

Weather station at PHS on the rooftop

The Bridgeton-Nockamixon-Tinicum Groundwater Management Committee (BNT GMC) has donated a state-of-the-art weather station with research-grade accuracy to the Palisades High School (PHS). The BNT GMC also donated a three year subscription to WeatherLink Pro for enhanced data viewing capabilities, exporting and custom charting. The weather station is now up and operational atop the new science wing.

The BNT GMC and PHS are fulfilling aspects of both of their missions by partnering on this project. This resource will be used by the school staff at PHS and Palisades Middle School to elevate the scientific literacy of the students, and the students will also be made more aware of opportunities to participate in the civic affairs of their local governmental committees. The members of the BNT GMC are civic-minded citizens who are available to give talks to enhance the curricula at the Science clubs, Environmental clubs, and science classes that will be using this resource to enrich their Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education.

In addition, this resource is a valuable information tool for the municipalities and the public, in general. It can be used to get reliable, up-to-the-minute, weather information to guide our everyday activities, as well as be a valuable source of information during weather emergencies in our municipalities. It also can, retrospectively, look at the weather history in greater detail. For example, Hurricane Ida on September 1, 2021, brought PHS 7.64 inches of rain with the rate as high as 1.51 inches per hour at 6:30 p.m., and the wind gusts were as high as 26 mph from the southeast at 10:30 p.m.

This one weather station can serve all classrooms in the district by allowing the school’s rain, wind, solar radiation, UV radiation, temperature, humidity data and other data to be available in every
classroom, allowing teachers to use this data in grade-appropriate curricula for reinforcing environmental, math, science and vocabulary lessons. Davis Instruments, the manufacturer of the weather station, and many other sources, already have suggested curricula for the use of this resource in the STEAM classes.

Rich Heffernan, principal of Palisades High School said of the donation, “I am thankful to the BNT GMC for their partnership with our school. Through this collaborative endeavor, we are able to provide yet another relevant educational opportunity for our students in our science curriculum.” Mark Chilton, Palisades High School science department head agreed: “We strive as a science department to connect real-world science with the students. The new weather station allows all of us to make those connections, both formally in a specific science curriculum, and informally to the curious observers. Even in the short time that the station has been up and running, it has already acted as a source for real-world data and also as a conversation starter to passersby. We genuinely appreciate the generous donation from our community.”