HOPE — A Hauser High school sophomore’s interest in meteorology has led her to create a new weather resource.
Chloe Kennedy, 16, has constructed a weather station after purchasing a kit from Amazon. The weather station will measure temperature, rainfall, wind speed, humidity and other information in real-time. The final project in her computer science class at Hauser combines an interest in meteorology with writing computer code, she said.
The device, which includes an internal computer inside a weather-proof box, will able to record weather data, which required Kennedy to create programming for the weather station. The programming will determine specific information that can be captured by the device, Kennedy said.
The public eventually will be able to access the weather station data on a website, she said.
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Kennedy said she had never done any type of computer programming before taking a course with Deborah Gaff, a Hauser teacher who is a former computer programmer.
The weather station is expected to be completed and collecting data by March, Kennedy said.
“I can go and check it whenever I want and it will always be recording the weather,” she said.
Kennedy also received a $300 grant from the Indiana Academy of Science that will be used to purchase a second weather station to place outside her home. She plans to program the device to capture lightning strikes and images of severe weather.
Wanting to be a meteorologist for as a long as she can remember, Kennedy said she was initially scared by storms when she was a child. Now she finds weather to be “fascinating,” she said.
“That’s what got me into it, because I was so scared and that’s what was so interesting to me,” she said.
Gaff said students in her class are first taught the very basics of computer programming and learn how to code in Python, one of several different programming languages.
“She’s doing the work of a college graduate student,” Gaff said. “It’s an opportunity (to learn) all the skills that employers are looking for — that graduate schools are looking for,” she said.
Kennedy’s interest in computer programming led her to develop a code on a small portable computer known as a Raspberry Pi that was able to capture different temperatures and humidity levels in different classrooms at the high school. The computer was programmed to record temperatures every second, she said.
The information collected from the Raspberry Pi, which was viewed on a small monitor and put into a spreadsheet, showed a fluctuation in temperatures in different parts of the building, information that was shared with Hauser teachers.
Kennedy hopes other students will want to learn about computer programming through her project, which she described as a giant puzzle that she solved through trial and error.
“We’re a tiny school and we don’t do a lot with technology, but we can still do huge things like this, and it just spreads a good word about our school,” Kennedy said. “And it makes kids who may not have thought about doing anything like coding or technology think about it and try it and pursue a computer coding class.”
For more information on Raspberry Pi, visit raspberrypi.org.