As climate action takes centre stage, Geography students of 240 schools in the State are set to record daily changes in weather conditions for better understanding of microclimatic variations and collect data for in-depth analysis.
Weather stations will be set up in 240 schools as part of a Samagra Shiksha, Kerala project included in the Chief Minister’s 100-day action plan.
Higher secondary and vocational higher secondary students who study geography as part of the Humanities stream will record minimum and maximum daily temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction as part of their practicals. This attempt at experiential learning will see them use equipment such as rain gauge, thermometers, wet-and-dry-bulb thermometers, wind vane, and cup counter anemometer.
Suresh Kumar S., a geography teacher, says the State has an undulating topography, and hence microclimatic variations are very evident. However, there is lack of data on daily weather conditions. With limited weather stations in the State, areas that may not receive rainfall may be assumed to have received rain. This underlines the need for more weather stations and more data.
The school weather stations will allow students not only to use equipment to record weather conditions but also understand any local variations, their impact on the environment, and draw conclusions from it. This is especially relevant in the context of recurring natural disasters in the State.
The importance of geography as a subject in recent times, and the problem of data gap in microclimatic research can also be understood by collecting data on weather conditions. It will benefit farming and commercial activities too.
Students’ interest in the subject is likely to be enhanced, as also their social interaction – an aspect that the government is keen on by linking public schools with social good. The data could be used even at the global level, especially as global warming and climate change takes centre stage around the world.
The weather stations will receive support from the India Meteorological Department, Centre for Water Resources Development and Management, and Kerala State Disaster Management Authority.
The school weather station project will be inaugurated by Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty at Vayala Vasudevan Pillai memoial Government Higher Secondary School, Kadakkal, Kollam, on June 11.