CHS adds weather station as engineering students showcase 3D print skills statewide

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Bob Baron, with the Baron Weather Institute, explains the new weather station installed at Cullman High School. (Cullman City Schools)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman City Schools is partnering with a weather institute to host a cutting-edge weather monitoring station on campus, with students taking the opportunity to gain some real-world Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills along the way.

Cullman High School has partnered with the Baron Weather Institute to install a weather station on the campus of Cullman High. The station marks the first in Cullman County to be managed by the Baron Institute. The Baron Critical Weather Institute is an Alabama-based weather nonprofit establishing a “WeatherNet” to monitor the skies for inclement conditions all across the state.

“We’d like to continue to raise awareness about the project and eventually get up to 10-15 stations in every county for a high-density weather net,” Bob Baron, president and CEO of the Baron Weather Institute, said. “The system can track precipitation, overnight lows and daytime highs. The information is also publicly available for anyone to access.”

School officials say the project will benefit our community by providing updates on the current weather conditions in our area. The weather station is also equipped with a live feed camera that will allow local officials, as well as the public, to track incoming severe weather as it approaches Cullman County live in real time.

“A project like this is a great opportunity for our students to get real world experience solving real world problems,” CHS Foundations of Engineering Teacher Mike Gay said. “They’re able to learn the methods and techniques, and the monitoring and troubleshooting.”

The weather station project also provides educational benefits for students, as data provided by the weather station can be utilized as a resource by science teachers and provide an innovative, local outlet to meet state standards in relation to weather studies.

“This is an outside the box project and I’m so proud for us to be a part of it,” Cullman City Schools Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff said. “We have a school board that encourages and expects innovation, so when these opportunities come up we don’t hesitate.”

Cullman City Schools’ Engineering program also works with the Baron Institute to build the enclosures that house the weather station systems via 3D printing, which is a great showcase throughout the state of the work and training being done as part of the district’s career technical education programs.

“Cullman High School’s Career Tech Engineering Program was selected to complete the engineering design and 3D printing of the weather stations that are housed throughout Alabama,” Cullman City Schools Career and Technical Education Coordinator Lindsay Brannon added. “Students in Mike Gay’s Engineering Program get an in-depth, real-world learning experience and have an impact on the weather community to fulfill Baron Institute’s mission to provide world-class instrumentation in support of Public Safety, Educational Outreach and Economic Development.”

For more information on the Baron Critical Weather Institute, and to access the new weather camera at Cullman High, visit the institute’s official website at www.baroninstitute.com.