WATERLOO — High school Principal Regina Adams said you never know what will spark interest in a student.
That’s why she’s excited about the new weather station officials with Stratus Station installed Tuesday at Waterloo High School.
“It’s exciting for us to have this,” Adams said. “It’s a hands-on learning tool that will benefit our students.”
The weather station was made possible through the financial efforts of the Northwest Alabama Resource, Conservation and Development Council along with state Sen. Tammy Irons, D-Florence.
Charlie Meek, executive director of the Northwest Alabama RC&D Council, said the cost was approximately $1,000.
“We had applied for a grant to do a weather station and camera to monitor an eagle’s nest there at Waterloo, but that was denied,” Meek said. “We had already talked to the (Lauderdale County) board of education about the weather station, so after talking with the RC&D board and Sen. Irons, we were able to make it happen.”
Meek said the weather station has a lot to offer students.
“It is state-of-the art technology and it gives real-time data,” he said. “It is now online for the students to use, and once the entire project is completed, it will be online for the general public to watch weather patterns developing and coming into the Shoals.”
Alan West, of Stratus Station, based in Hamilton, said Waterloo High School is the fourth school to have one of these weather stations on campus. The others are in Haleyville, Hamilton and a private school outside of Montgomery.
He said the camera will be installed at a later time and will be available to meteorologists as well as students.
“This is most definitely a learning tool,” West said. “The students can not only watch the weather, they can track it, get a better understanding of wind chill factors, heat indexes, wind speeds, everything about the weather they want to learn.
“It is a great addition to science and math classes.”
Adams said she hopes to soon have a monitor broadcasting the weather station all day in the school library.
“It’s something for all our students to enjoy and use and learn from,” she said.
“Also, I’m hoping we can add a link to the weather station on our school website so parents can connect to it and see the information.
“We’re excited about what this can mean for our students. It’s our hope that it gets them more interested in the weather, which could become another avenue for learning.”
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.