109 New York State Mesonet for Multidisciplinary and Data-Intensive STEM Teaching and Learning

Monday, 7 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Junhong (June) Wang, Univ. at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY; and J. A. Brotzge

The newly-established state-of-the-art New York State Mesonet (NYSM) consists of 126 weather stations deployed across the state (Fig. 1). Twelve sites are located in the “backyards” of K-12 schools. With at least one station installed in every county and borough of the state and with an average station spacing of 19 miles, every NYS school is within ~10 miles of a site. All stations collect 5-min measurements of standard meteorological variables with additional soil moisture at three levels, solar radiation, snow depth and still camera images. In addition, in a first for a state mesonet, NYSM has three sub-networks (“Profiler”, “Flux”, and “Snow”) comprised of 17, 17, and 20 sites to provide atmospheric vertical profiles, the surface energy budget, and snow water equivalent, respectively. All data are collected, archived, and processed in real-time, feeding weather prediction models and decision-support tools for users across the greater New York region and beyond. The network also provides high-quality data and products for emergency management, transportation, energy, education, agriculture and other sectors.

NYSM provides endless opportunities for K-12 students and teachers to take advantage of instruments, data and expertise and to build knowledge and skills in multi-disciplinary science and engineering, including atmospheric and environmental sciences, mathematics, physics, computer science, and electronic and software engineering. Weather data from NYSM provide large volume and variety of meteorological and environmental data relevant to the students’ daily lives and are collected from their “backyards”. NYSM offers an open, data-intensive, networked infrastructure to support authentic scientific practices advocated by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The educational potential and value of NYSM has become apparent. Since its debut in 2015, NYSM has been frequently used by New York K-12 school classrooms in a variety of ways, ranging from field trips, lectures, teachers’ training to 1-month science colloquium. We are now exploring NYSM’ potential to serve as a springboard for the development of curriculum spaces for diverse students to engage with authentic scientific discovery to meet the NGSS. We are also looking for collaborations from this community.

Figure 1 Map of 126 NYSM sites (green balloons) with sites in K-12 schools in red balloons. All K-12 schools are also shown on the background google map.

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