Arkadelphia Public Schools announce new Badger Weather Station
Hanna Dean

Arkadelphia High School is proud to announce the inception of Badger Weather Station, the high school’s very own weather station. With the help of AHS Pre-Engineering Teacher Bud McMillion, students have the opportunity to learn about mechanical engineering as they work together to produce weather updates for the public.

Currently, the station is running with a team from the Engineering Design and Development class. It sends updated weather conditions every 30 seconds to the internet. In order to receive updates, users need to refresh their browser. On the browser, users will find wind speed and direction, temperature, rainfall and barometric pressure.

The station is located on the roof of the high school and began three weeks ago, as it took that amount of time to get everything set up and running.

“Generally we learn what mechanical engineers do. Mechanical engineers use math and science to create solutions to problems. Many times the solutions involve creating a product. We do a lot of problem solving that involves designing products”, McMillion said.

McMillion explains that a few years back he began thinking about types of problems that engineers need to solve in the course of their work. One of which occurs after the product is created and then having to keep the product working for the customer. He felt that the weather station would provide an ideal platform for students to work in teams on the installation and customer service aspects of product development.

“For the next few years, I will have teams of students who must master an understanding of how a remote weather station works. They must also develop strategies for keeping it working to deliver the daily report via the internet to their clients,” McMillion said.

The type of day will determine how much work goes into running the station. On a good day, not much of anything happens. As time progresses, teams are expected to have to recalibrate the station. The station may have to be rebuilt and redeployed after severe weather events.

In addition to teaching students as they work, the station also serves its’ purpose to the Arkadelphia community. Students, parents and community members have to get ready for many events at the high school; therefore, knowing the weather conditions will hopefully provide a bit of helpful information as they plan how to dress.

“We’ve had a lot of positive comments. People get excited about knowing what the weather is doing. We have also put up a computer monitor in the hall next to the engineering lab, and we have a lot of people drop by to see what the current weather conditions are,” McMillion said.

There are many goals in place for the station. First, to provide an accurate online weather report. When the accuracy or functioning of the weather measurements degrade, the students must develop solutions that recover high quality data from the station. In addition, there are high hopes to keep the station running for many years to come.

You can access updated weather information at http://www.weatherlink.com/user/AHSweather