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Bethlehem school district boasts weather station

Is it raining, is it snowing, is a hurricane a-blowing?

To answer these questions and more, area residents don't have to take a ride on the Wonkatania. Simply log onto the Bethlehem Central School District Web site and see for yourself from the school's very own weather station.

The high school's science department paid for and implemented the new weather center as part of the bonded building improvements the school underwent as part of the district's ongoing capital construction project. The weather station has been incorporated into the classroom curriculum for students to learn about forecasting the weather while they are studying and measuring it.

It's a hands-on approach all around.

The science department has also launched a feature allowing residents to view the current weather conditions at http://bcsd.k12.ny.us and link to forecasts through the site that hosts the BCHS weather center.

Jamie Rowe uses the weather station as part of her ninth-grade Enriched Regents Earth Science class, which is located in the school's new science E-wing that was constructed as part of district improvements. Spotlight Newspapers was invited to sit in on one of Rowe's classes to see how the new technology is being integrated into the classroom.

"It's pretty much attached to the side of the building," Rowe said about the Davis Vantage Pro II Plus equipment that collects the weather data. "We got it up and running in late October and early November."

The equipment costs between $1,000 and $1,500.

"I want to have you draw the station models," Rowe told her class as one of her students asks how much precipitation had accumulated by that rainy Thursday afternoon.

"That's a good question; we haven't had to deal with that lately," she responded while looking at data on a computer screen. "Point-o-eight inches in the past six hours," Rowe said.

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