Students heading back to school in Roanoke next week will be able to get real life lessons in meteorology.
Researchers in Virginia Tech's Department of Geography have been spending the summer putting weather stations in schools across the city. The 10 stations will capture temperature variations across the city and help identify areas that would benefit from green space and help with food growing efforts in the valley.
"Usually what you see is National Weather Service stations at the airport," explained Ph.D. Student Tammy Parece. "We know the weather stations at the airport is in the middle of an open field. It doesn't really give us a good view of, maybe what's going on across Mill Mountain." Tech students will use the data for their course work.
The project will also help students prepare for the meteorology component of the SOLs. "By having the weather stations in the school, the science teachers can use the actual data from the weather stations in order to help teach those SOLs," said Parece. "So the different temperature variations, when you get to high school they'll talk about weather fronts."
The weather stations will transmit to a website every five minutes and the data won't be limited to one teacher in one school. Any teacher will be able to look at all the stations and apply the information to their lessons.
Tuesday is the first night for volunteers enrolled in this fall's Citizen's Academy. Some choose to continue that training through the Citizens on Patrol Academy.