Having painstakingly assembled the kit and successfully installed the hardware outside, our school’s Raspberry Pi Weather Station has now been diligently recording local weather information for the last number of months. Since then, it has been up to us to ensure its potential for enhancing teaching and learning experiences is maximised.
Fortunately there is a wide variety of detailed lesson plans and activities provided in the education section of raspberrypi.org . These resources are based around the Weather Station project. Some require the actual Weather Station kit, but others do not.
The Sensing the Weather lessons, for example, are useful for providing the students with a guide to connect the simple sensors, be introduced to the Python programming language, and learn some techniques to gather sensor data. This resource was particularly beneficial as each of the 8 lessons contains background information on a specific sensor. We could use these to introduce the instruments to some of the classes.
Most of the lessons, it should be noted, are geared towards secondary or KS3 level and contain exciting and ambitious programming activities. For example the meteorologist lesson aims to turn a micro:bit into a meteorologist that can display the weather forecast for the next seven days. As a senior primary school we have adapted our approach and the Station has inspired some excellent project work, especially in 6th class. Among other things, the pupils have already
- Created Padlet dashboards to express their understanding of weather forecasts
- Used Met Eireann’s excellent site to study Ireland’s climate
- Started a weather blog on our school website using data from our own station
- Compared weather data from School’s weather station to data from the Internet, using wunderground.com
With the a visit from a prominent RTE weatherman pending, we will get the opportunity to show off our weather station. In the meantime, the focus will now shift to using information from our database to create our own weather forecasts. The plan is to borrow a green screen from our local Education Centre and do some discovery learning with the Do Ink app.
Our endeavours with the Raspberry Pi weather station are well documented at this stage. We were fortunate to acquire a complete kit that has so far provided us with an enormous amount of learning opportunities, for teachers, pupils and parents.
However, making your own school weather station that can be coded with a Raspberry Pi computer is a relatively straightforward and inexpensive undertaking as demonstrated here.
We would certainly recommend giving it a try.