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MCC grant pays for second weather watcher in Kingman
A Mohave Community College teacher used grant money to buy a weather station for the college which is adding to the data collected for the Kingman area.
11/29/2012 6:01:00 AM
By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Kingman residents have two locations recording local weather data now that a new weather station at
Mohave Community College
has been installed.
The new station is the brainchild of MCC anatomy teacher Cesar Fuentes.
"The Mohave Community College Foundation offers mini-grants to teachers. They're about $1,000, but the project has to benefit the college and the community," Fuentes said. "I was considering applying for new lab equipment, but that would really only benefit my students."
That's when Fuentes remembered a conversation with a former colleague who had purchased a little real-time weather station for his house.
Fuentes also runs the science club at the college and actually considered becoming a weather forecaster as a kid.
He thought a real-time weather station would be a great teaching tool for the club and all of the area's students and the community.
"The local weather is generated through the use of a weather station at the local airport," he said. "The valley in which Kingman is located is rather large and so there are many data discrepancies depending on which side of the valley you are on.
"The station here at the Kingman Campus will provide the region with a second monitoring site to further enhance and refine our forecasts in the Kingman region."
People studying math at the college could use the raw data to identify trends, he said. Humanities students could use it to produce local video forecasts and students at Kingman Unified School District and the Kingman Academy of Learning could also use the data to study weather in class, he said.
He applied for and won one of the foundation's mini-grants. Using the money he purchased a weather station about the size of a breadbox from Davis Instruments in San Francisco.
The station is installed on the top of one of the college's buildings and beams real time weather data to www.weatherlink.com/user/mccnkc402/. The website provides a weather map of the area and a summary of the day's highs and lows.
The software on Fuentes' college computer records long-term data and other variables such as the amount of sun collected by the device's solar panel.
Students can use the info to study the use of solar energy. It can also be used to provide an exposure level for the community.
The long-term data can also be used by students or sent to the National Weather Service to study weather trends.
Users of the website can even link in to other Davis Instrument weather stations and read weather data from around the globe.
MCC students used the data in May to produce a weather forecast video on the college's YouTube channel. Fuentes is hoping to get the students to create daily or even a weekly video forecast for the community.
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