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13-02-2015

For the second year running Campbell Scientific have given children at Redmoor Academy the opportunity to learn about weather measurements by delivering a Weather Workshop.

Two one hour sessions were held across two days for around 70 students in total studying geography at KS3. Following a short 'show and tell' by Campbell Scientific's STEM Ambassador, Iain Thornton, pupils broke out into small groups; each allocated a specific real world weather application. For each application students considered what parameters are measured, by whom and for what purpose. Applications included: wind energy, solar energy, road transport, aviation transport, sports and leisure and lightning warning. Pupils were assisted in this through supplied worksheets and application images and by staff and Iain circulating to facilitate discussions. Finally, pupils reconvened to summarise their findings to the class.

Iain said "This is the second year that we have visited Redmoor for these sessions. The aim is to get children thinking about the implications of weather beyond the daily forecast on the news. To consider how weather is used in many aspects of scientific research but also in commercial applications for safety, financial or legal reasons"

He continued “As well as a typical weather station and standard sensors I always try to bring along some of the more unusual weather devices we manufacture such as the ceilometer and present weather sensor. Beyond those that use such instruments very few people even know they exist never mind get an opportunity to see them and learn how they work. I always leave these sensors with the school between the two events with fact cards on them so that children not attending the sessions still get a chance to see and learn about them.”

The workshops were organised by Head of Humanities, Ellie Woodward who commented “Having external organisations such as Campbell Scientific coming into the school to work with our students is invaluable. It provides a direct connection between what they learn in class and real world applications. Weather is covered on the KS3 syllabus and so having access to the knowledge and instrumentation that Iain brings to these sessions really enriches the subject learning for our pupils”

Iain Thornton, Marketing Manager at Campbell Scientific, is a STEM Ambassador registered through the STEMNet organisation. The STEM Ambassador program encourages those who work within Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths disciplines to get involved with youngsters to enthuse and excite them about the world of STEM with a view to increasing the uptake of STEM subjects leading to STEM jobs in the future, especially among girls. Further information on the program can be found at http://www.stemnet.org.uk/

Redmoor Academy is a multi-award winning school held with high regard within the academic world and seen very much as leading the way in STEM promotion. Their website is www.redmooracademy.org

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