Oregon students learn using school's own weather station


OREGON – When people think of Oregon Elementary School, they think of a place to learn and grow.

It is that, of course. But it is also a weather station.

Yes, a weather station. And you can find weather information coming from the school 24/7 at wunderground.com/weather/us/il/oregon/KILOREGO10.

The station exists thanks to a grant from the Oregon Schools Foundation. It was installed over the winter break, and 6th grade students have been using the data it provides in science class.

Aaron Mendoza, the 6th grade science teacher, applied for the grant and uses the data collected in class.

He said the students take the data recorded – including temperatures, current conditions, barometric pressure – and track what is happening and what will happen.

“They try to predict what is going to happen,” Mendoza said.

He said that the information on the site, which is basically a Weather Underground station, can be used to get a hyper local look at the weather. And other meteorologists could use the station as “a potential weather source.”

Along with the current conditions picked up by the station at the school, the site features information including a long-range forecast, history and a weather almanac.

“It is a really detailed site,” Mendoza said.

He said that the class is now moving to the next section of its science curriculum, so he had students look back on what they learn. The students are creating videos aimed at teaching students in grades 2 through 4 what they have learned.

“Now they are teaching,” Mendoza said of the students. “That takes it to a new level.”

He said getting the station up and operating was a real team effort, from the support of administration to the maintenance department installing it on the building to the school’s technology department setting it all up.

And it is permanent, so with just minor maintenance it will be around for many classes to use and learn from.

“To me it just opens up the tools that I have so I can get to my classroom and teach my students,” Mendoza said. “I’m excited for them and the next group.”