143 Creating a High School Weather Community: Information from Us, for Us

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Henry Nelson, Concord-Carlisle Regional High School, Concord, MA; and W. Hickman, E. Marano, and T. Ruggiero

Collecting and sharing weather information has long been a part of schools, from students reading the daily weather over the loudspeaker during homeroom to students collecting rain or reading thermometers outside on the school playground. At Concord-Carlisle High School we see weather as a topic and gateway to some of the most rewarding collaborations and community at CCHS. We see the model of students engaging with students as a way to increase interest in the subject.

This is why we believe our weather club has grown over the course of 8 years from a small group of four students who shared weather forecasts on the school radio station to a robust group of over fourty members who have the capacity to create and share original weather updates in varied format such as daily TV broadcasts on local CCTV as well as our YouTube Channel, daily radio broadcasts on the school’s WIQH radio station, and on our public facebook page. We also create original graphics for use in the TV broadcasts, on facebook, on the video monitors in the hallways, and on our instagram feed.

Production of these different broadcast formats builds upon and showcases varied student interests and abilities, such as writing, data analysis, technological skill in using photoshop, radio or TV equipment, presentation skills, social media and organization skills. The Concord-Carlisle Weather Services club has become a community of diversely talented weather enthusiasts, and as a result has significant dexterity in our ability to communicate weather information. Daily broadcasts, projected around the school, shown on Facebook and Instagram, or broadcasted on our local radio station, both inform students and teachers on daily weather as well as entice future members into the Weather Services community.

Our goal in our daily broadcasts is to create a hyper-local forecast tailored to our interests and featuring our own students and school events. The sources we use include the weather station on the roof, as well as local meteorologist blogs and hyperlocal forecasting apps to help us build our updates. By doing this, we are able to have information that students want given to them by familiar faces and names. Not only does this approach give us the weather data that is most accurate to our specific location, but we analyze that weather data and explain how it will impact our students and the events they attend. In those two ways we differentiate ourselves from the local TV meteorologists, or the weather app on a smartphone.

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