Bath County High School technology education students tackle project that can benefit all of the county
Bath County High School has been well represented in the nationwide Samsung “Solve for Tomorrow” contest. Technology Education Teacher Ed Ozols came up with a weather prediction project and was one of five finalists in Virginia, out of about 3,100 teachers who applied. Ozols has ten of his students working on the project and he feels their efforts will benefit them even beyond this one project.
“We talk a lot about STEM, science, technology, engineering and math, when we talk about what the students are doing in school,” says Ozols. “But one of the parts that we’ve really not addressed up until recently is the engineering portion of it. Where students learn how to take their existing knowledge add a little bit of new knowledge to it and use that to problem solve. Being able to problem solve in a class like this helps them when they’re in other classes and have to problem solve in other classes, regardless of whether they go into engineering or not. It’s helping them create a whole new way of thinking.”
The project Ozols developed for the contest will help to more accurately predict weather in Bath County. There’s a weather monitoring station at the airport, but that elevation is very high and the conditions there don’t reflect what the weather is in other lower elevation areas of the county. The project calls for measuring weather in different locations in Bath and based on what’s happening at the airport, Ozols hopes to use the data collected to predict what is happening with the weather around the rest of Bath County.
Noah is one of the programmers on the project. The program he’s working on could ultimately allow a user, say a Bath County resident, to go to a website to see what the weather is in different parts of the county.
“From all the data that they’re gathering, the program just takes all the data and puts it into something that the user can interact with and see the weather,” says Noah. “This is the first time I’m doing it, the first year I’m doing it. I’m learning a lot. It’s been fun and challenging too.”
Students are also designing instruments for a weather station. The designs are printed on a 3D printer. The students can then see how the parts of their design fit together and make changes as needed.
Caleb is working on instrument design.
“I am working on a weathervane,” says Caleb. “It will help measure where the wind will be coming from and help us more accurately pinpoint and see what weather we are getting. It shows how fast things can approach you and how dangerous the precipitation can be. If it’s hard or whether it’s liquid, it’ll prove more dangerous.”
Avery is also designing a weathervane.
“It’s hard to get the shapes all right and get it all proportioned correctly and to get everything to work together to make it happen,” says Avery. “It’s challenging, but it’s also fun. It’s fun to play around with.”
Even though the project was not chosen as the winner in Virginia, and won’t advance in the contest, Ozols says his students will continue to work on the weather prediction project. He says the students are the ones that made all this possible. He credits Bath County teachers who have taught those students over the years and who did a great job getting them ready to create a project such as this one.