Technology project from Bath County High School one of five Virginia finalists in national contest
Technology education students at Bath County High School are working on a project that was chosen as a finalist among Virginia entries in the Samsung “Solve for Tomorrow” contest. Technology Education Teacher Ed Ozols came up with the idea, entered the contest and put students to work on the project.
“I found out on November 11 that I was one of five teachers chosen as a finalist here in the state of Virginia, out of about 3,100 teachers who applied,” says Ozols. “So that’s really exciting.”
Ozols’ entry is a weather prediction project.
“We are looking at being able to more accurately predict weather here in Bath County,” says Ozols. “The weather monitoring station is up at the airport and that’s about 3,800 feet in elevation. And most of the county isn’t that high in elevation, so it’s real difficult to predict what winter weather is where most of the people are. And because of that it’s difficult to decide whether or not you call school off or two hour delay. So we want to be able to measure the weather in different locations in the county. But based on what’s happening at the airport, we’re hoping to be able to extrapolate that data and make predictions as to what’s happening in the rest of the county.”
Students in Ozols’ technical drawing class are designing instruments to measure wind speed and wind direction. Students in his programming class are designing programs to collect data from those instruments, which will then explain what’s happening with the weather. The weather instruments the students are designing will be used to collect data from different parts of the county and then that data will be used to calculate what the weather might be like in other areas.
Some students are working on designing weathervanes. This project is giving students a whole new experience. Each student is working individually and Ozols says this way they are able to compare their design process with classmates.
Alex is working on a weathervane design.
“This is new, all new to me,” says Alex.
What’s the hardest thing about doing it?
“Mainly just getting in all the work,” says Alex. “Finding a design that actually fits what I’m doing.”
“I’m Julie and I’m also working on a weathervane.”
And what have you learned out of this process?
“More about weather and how the weathervane works,” says Julie. “It will help tell where the weather is and how fast it’s going.”
Have you found this to be a big challenge?
“I catch on really easy so not a really big challenge, but I did find it really interesting,” says Julie.
Noah is also working on a weathervane.
“In order for the programmers to have data, they have to get the data from our weathervanes,” says Noah. “It’s very hard to get all the shapes and everything right. But also we’re learning how to use 3D design and things like that, so we can actually build our own things.”
The weather prediction project was not selected in the contest as the winner from Virginia, but the students are going to continue with their project.
“My name is Kenzie. We have a great teacher and we have a great class and we’re learning. So it works out. It’s a win-win. It’ll help the county and it’ll help our class.”