RENCI Weather Web project begins year 2 with new competition

CHAPEL HILL, NC, February 3, 2009- North Carolina counties that lack weather stations–and therefore lack detailed weather data–will once again have the chance to acquire a research and operational grade weather station through the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) Weather Web project, aimed at enhancing weather-related K-12 education and at improving the quantity and quality of weather data in underserved areas of the state.

RENCI Weather Web, first offered in 2008, targets counties in North Carolina that lack detailed information about weather patterns and weather history because no research-grade weather stations are located nearby. Last year, RENCI sent out a challenge to schools in the targeted counties to develop curricula in meteorology and atmospheric sciences that would use a weather station and the data it produces. That competition resulted in new research and operational grade weather stations in Alexander, Yancey and Hyde counties. Students at the schools were also asked to research and write essays on the local benefits of weather stations.

This year’s Call for Proposals seeks submissions of additional meteorology curriculum. Individual schools, a partnership of schools in targeted counties or teachers within schools can submit proposals that detail their plans for using weather station data in educational activities. The application and guidelines for submitting proposals, as well as last year’s winning curricula, are at the RENCI Weather Web website.

Proposals are due March 23 and will be evaluated this spring by RENCI professionals in education and meteorology and by representatives of the State Climate Office of North Carolina. One winner will be chosen by the end of the school year. The winning county will receive a research and operational grade weather station paid for by RENCI and installed and maintained by the State Climate Office.

The Weather Web project has a two-fold purpose: to improve education related to weather and climatology through hands-on activities and the use of real data; and to provide the state with weather data in areas where data is severely lacking.

The winners from last year’s Weather Web competition came from Alexander Central High School in Taylorsville; Ocracoke School on Ocracoke Island; and from a collaboration of several schools in Yancey County.

RENCI…Catalyst for Innovation
The Renaissance Computing Institute brings together teams of researchers, engineers, technologists and leaders in government, business, the arts and humanities to attack major research questions and community issues in ways that accelerate discovery and drive innovation. RENCI has nationally significant expertise and capabilities in high performance computing, visualization, collaborative tools, networking, device prototyping, and data systems as well as engagement sites across the state. Founded in 2004 as a major collaborative venture of Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina, RENCI is a statewide virtual organization. For more, see