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Students Make Instruments to Better Understand Weather and Climate

STEM Thrives in Special Education Classrooms at ESBOCES

Student making a weather vane    Student making a weather vane

Diane Pearson, middle school special education teacher at Westhampton Beach Learning Center, can use any number of sophisticated instruments to teach weather and climate. Instead, she showed her students how to design their own equipment, helping them to gain a greater understanding of the content and the engineering behind the devices. Handcrafted weather vanes showed wind direction and thermometers made from empty water bottles, drinking straws, clay, and rubbing alcohol demonstrated thermal expansion and contraction. Next – a do-it-yourself anemometer. Pearson plans to construct one from plastic cups and a wooden dowel to determine a baseline reference point for measuring wind speed. Then, her students can take the anemometer outside at school and perform their own calculations based upon those figures. Westhampton Beach Learning Center is an Eastern Suffolk BOCES school that provides services to students with special education needs.
 Homemade thermometers