CoCoRaHS - A winter monitoring initiative for you and your students!
Read through to the end of this blog to learn about discounted weather gauges available to teachers exclusively at this workshop!
If you have not yet heard, EcoSpark is offering various curriculum-linked environmental projects for teachers and students through our School Watch Program where teachers and students can learn how to lead citizen science projects with their students on school grounds. One of the many citizen science projects that teachers and students can take part of as a class includes a winter monitoring project in collaboration with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network or CoCoRaHS. By attending an EcoSpark School Watch workshop, teachers will have the opportunity to learn how to use a weather gauge and learn to communicate changing weather patterns and their connection to climate change with their students. This project allows for mapping and measuring rain and snow as it falls from the sky to gain an understanding of how much precipitation fell across the nation. This is followed by entering the data into the CoCoRaHS database. Schools are encouraged to set up their weather gauges as a registered weather data point on the CoCoRaHS database and report on the data at the same time daily for accurate measurements. The precipitation measurements classes collect contribute to a database that provides information that is invaluable and essential for public safety, agriculture, forestry and flood monitoring among many others and is used daily by a variety of stakeholders such as city water managers and farmers.
What will your students learn?
This project is a great opportunity for students to learn how to use and read a scientific instrument as well as increase their computer skills by entering the data in CoCoRaHS’ online database following the study. With older grades this project can be adapted to include more advanced measurements as well as having the students conduct their own weather water analysis. Students will learn where water comes from, gain a greater understanding of the water cycle and learn how changing patterns in precipitation are linked to climate change. The data collected by the students is used by the National Weather Service to improve their prediction models in order to become more accurate and reliable with their predictions.
What will you need to participate?
This project is free for all to participate in but requires a standardized weather gauge which will be offered at a discounted rate to teachers who attend the workshop. CoCoRaHS states only two other requirements are neccessary; the first is a demonstrated interest in weather and the second is a desire to learn more about the importance of high-quality weather information.
What can teachers gain from this workshop?
By attending a School Watch workshop, teachers will have the opportunity to receive a weather gauge necessary to collect the precipitation data at a discounted price of $30 instead of the regular price of $60. At the workshop, teachers will have the chance to sign-up for the CoCoRaHS monitoring initiative. At School Watch workshops EcoSpark staff will instruct teachers on how they can incorporate COCoRaHS and other citizen science projects into their lesson plans with simple outdoor activities they can do on school grounds.
Webinar and additional resources
If you would like to learn more about CoCoRaHS and the different uses of the data collected from this monitoring initiative watch this webinar by Elizabeth Burakowski. Dr. Burakowski is a Research Assistant Professor in the Institute for the Study of Earth Oceans and Space and Affiliate Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of New Hampshire. Her work focuses primarily on winter climate change in the northeastern United States. The webinar focuses on the many ecosystems services that snow provides and discusses how your CoCoRaHS snow observations help hydrologists, climate scientists, wildlife biologists, and many more stakeholders and scientists understand how snow plays a critical role in human-environment interactions.
In addition, CoCoRaHS has a great Youtube Channel with animated videos that are great introduction tools for your students. Access their Youtube Channel here.
Register for a School Watch workshop today!
Carina is an Environmental Education Assistant with the Changing Currents Program at EcoSpark. She is passionate about aquatic ecosystems and educating young minds on the connections between land and water. She recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies from York University and a diploma in Ecosystem Management Technology from Sir Sandford’s Fleming College, School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences.