Winfield, Ala. -- Winfield Elementary School looks like any other school but if you look up you'll see a weather station on its roof. Cameras and sensors collect weather data then it goes online. The weather station was installed in December and is now being used by the entire district.
8th grader Andrew Stovall said, " I can look at the radar on the weather stem app and determine if there's any rain in the area or any warnings in the area so I can alert my followers." Stovall has a passion for meteorology so he's created a Twitter and Facebook page to send out information about the weather gathered by the weather station. "I can come here to look at the radar and I can take a picture or a snapshot of this and then post it to my facebook or twitter account just to let people know."
High School Freshman Tess Raburn uses the weather station data in her rocketry class. "We use the station to figure the best days to launch and what times should we launch."
The program also lets students analyze weather data. "Will give us a better in depth experience in science as well as teach us data collection skills and organization skills," said Raburn.
The weather data can also be used by coaches. They can check to see where the nearest lightning strike is and make a decision on outdoor games and practices.
The District's STEM Curriculum Coordinator for K-8, Candy Garner, said the schools are in the process of becoming STEM certified. The weather station is just another piece to that puzzle. "We are just trying to share with our students, especially in a rural community where we are, that there are so many fields and opportunities and careers they can choose to go into."
Garner said the weather station cost $3,000 to install. The money came from the district's budget. But it's not just the schools that can view the weather information, it's open to anyone. You can check it out here.