New Mexico Tech’s Climate and Water Consortium recently received a private donation of $10,000 for the Science of Weather in Schools program. The FHL Foundation of Albuquerque announced six grants totaling $70,000 in its winter 2018 round of awards.
NMT physics professor Zeljka Fuchs is the Director of the Climate and Water Consortium and the initiator of this project. She said Science of Weather in Schools is an outreach project to install portable mini-weather stations developed at New Mexico Tech. Fuchs and her team of professors and students are developing kits to build weather stations that will provide hands-on experience for students across New Mexico.
Stipo Sentic is the post-doc working on the project. Students include Ph.D. student Jose Martinez and undergrads Sooraj Bhatia and Robin Reinhard.
“Working with educators, we will write a curriculum that hits topics in the state standards and also write lessons that will familiarize students with basic concepts needed to do real science,” Fuchs said. “The students will also have the opportunity to analyze the data from our field projects where we fly into storms. As a part of this project we will also offer a climate class for in-service teachers through NMT’s Masters of Science for Teachers program."
Each weather station will include sensors that measure temperature, pressure and humidity.
“The cool thing is that the students will assemble them themselves and that the data will come in a form of real data that they need to work with,” Fuchs said. “They will be easily portable so that they can take them outside.”
The first stage of the project will be 10 stations for schools in Socorro school district.
The activities will depend on the age level. Fuchs said the Consortium team is developing different curricula for four age groups K-3, 4-5, 6-8 and high school.
The Climate and Water Consortium features scientists working on cutting-edge research and applying it to the real world.
The Consortium includes professors from several departments, and students in the Physics Department from undergraduates through post-docs. The goal of the Consortium is to improve the New Mexico economy and industry through interdisciplinary research. The Consortium is an innovative problem-solving center for interdisciplinary research and outreach. (https://cwc.nmt.edu/)