Weather Station Puts Program Studies Into Practice

Students in Ashland Community and Technical College’s computers and information technology program recently found a way to put their studies to practical use.

The Technology Drive Campus is now home to a weather station thanks to a Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 grant applied for by program coordinator David Childress.

“I requested the weather station through Perkins funds for the CIT program to use it for data, promote the college and community and the neat factor,” Childress said. “Curtis Bowman, professor and program coordinator of welding technology, fabricated the mounting bracket and Neal Holmes, maintenance technician, was able to ask the folks mounting the new LED lights on the TDC campus if they would mount it on the pole using their bucket truck, which they kindly did.”

The weather station is mounted on a light pole in front of the Phase II building and has a wind vane and aerometer on it.

In addition to measuring temperature, dew point, wind speed, humidity, pressure and other weather data, Childress said the station also promotes a partnership between the college and the community, as well as gives students experience with real data.

“It seems like an idea that could do many things at once.  Weather affects everyone and I thought it would be a good way to connect our campus and local community, plus use as a real data source for our students to work with,” he said. “The main station records data that can be saved to a micro USB card and that data can be shared with any class that is interested.  Exported data is in .csv (comma separated value) format, and includes all the data you see on the website, but it can be manipulated and charted in Excel or any spreadsheet that can import .cvs format. “’Hand’s on’ experience with actual data.”

The station can be accessed online at www.wunderground.com or through an Android or Apple app. The station ID is KKYASHLA13.