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Bethlehem school district boasts weather station

Rowe then proceeded to ask her students about the current sky conditions, the barometric trend, the wind speed and direction, and other variable conditions and write the answers on the classroom white board. All of the weather information is sent to the classroom's computers, which is then projected for the class to read.

Students present in Rowe's 12:30 p.m. class included Pat Miron, Jeff Cooley, Dustin Walker, Dan Bromsey, Jon Malsan, Jake Metchick, Jack Singer, Derrick Chu, Derek DeWitt, Dan Haggerty, Rachel Nolte, Josh Gally and Laura Allessi.

Ninth-grader Derrick Chu wrote down that the wind speed at the time was five knots.

"The only official reporters are the National Weather Service," Rowe told her class. "What you see on the local news in the morning would be like the station we have here or weather spotters."

Many area homeowners have their own similar weather stations, according to K-12 Science Supervisor Michael Klugman, who act as area weather spotters and improve area weather readings.

"The number of stations is so great and the number of reporters is so great that you can get really accurate readings in the area," Klugman said.

The stations measure and display a variety of weather indicators such as barometric pressure; indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity; heat index; dew point; wind direction and speed; UV index and dose; solar radiation; evapotranspiration; wind chill; rain fall; time; date; forecasts; moon phase; sunrise; and sunset.

"We have students tracking a number of weather variables and actually understanding how meteorologists are able to make forecasts," said Klugman.

Rowe, who has an advanced degree in meteorology, told her students about another kind of weather-related event " albeit an out-of-this-world event " The Phoenix Lander traveling through the Mars atmosphere on Sunday, May 25. The Mars mission is the first to be lead by a public university, the University of Arizona.

"Are there people in it?" one student jokingly asked of the lander.""

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