Eight Comox Valley schools have become weather monitoring stations for the University of Victoria.
According to Comox Valley School District manager of energy conservation Fred McGregor, the final Comox Valley school-based weather monitoring station was installed about a month ago. They are located at Cumberland Junior Secondary, Courtenay, Valley View, Miracle Beach, Airport, Denman and Hornby elementary schools and Navigate powered by NIDES (North Island Distance Education School).
McGregor added the sites are part of a network of 157 school-based weather stations across Vancouver Island, which are collecting data for UVic researchers and grad students studying the Vancouver Island climate.
“They approached us, they provide the weather station hardware and the PC that goes with it free of charge to anybody who is willing to put it on their building,” McGregor told Comox Valley school trustees at last week’s board of education meeting. “They select the sites based on their climatological zones — of course they want data from different areas — and all we had to do was install it.”
Data for each school is posted on www.islandweather.ca, and the monitoring stations measure temperature, rainfall, wind direction and speed, barometric pressure and humidity, among other things.
“So that all gets collected at intervals and it gets transmitted wirelessly to a PC in our school and, connected on the Internet, goes to the University of Victoria,” he continued. “Pretty cool stuff, there’s no wires to it — it’s totally wireless — it’s powered by the sun.”
McGregor also pointed out teachers can use the weather stations for teaching purposes and the website has various teaching resources for them to use.
Following the meeting, he noted teachers seem keen on the weather monitoring stations as a teaching resource.
“The minute I sent an e-mail out saying that it was online I got probably 20 teachers asking me information about it and so on, so it’s very well-received for sure,” he added.