Cache County schools will be used for the initial phase of a weather information system that someday may involve thousands of public schools and their students statewide.
The Cache County School District is helping Utah State University researchers install weather stations in 15 of its schools to begin with, said Gil Moore, senior research associate in USU's Space Dynamics Lab Science Division.He said that in the next 30 days another 13 students will have reporting stations in their homes.
The next step will be a move into the Logan School District, and eventually the Cache Valley - including a few in southeastern Idaho's Franklin County - will boast 250 stations, Moore said.
Moore said the program's goals include interesting children in science, engineering, technology and math, and providing weather data to a research project headed by physicist Gene Adams.
Adams is a senior research associate in USU's Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences. He is studying air turbulence created in mountainous valleys and the resulting atmospheric agitation.
After the Cache and Logan districts, the program will expand to Box Elder County. From there it will move into Weber County.
Weber State University will serve as the first satellite receiving and relay station. Schools and students will feed into the network daily weather information such as temperature, barometric pressure, precipitation, and wind speed and direction.
The University of Utah, Southern Utah University and USU centers in communities such as Moab and Vernal will act as local receiving-relay hubs for public schools and students in their areas.