Press-Republican

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November 21, 2012

Online donor helps Beekmantown High School buy new weather station

BEEKMANTOWN — When Beekmantown High School science teacher Scott Danville discovered the school’s weather station was broken, he knew the district couldn’t afford the $700-plus to replace it. 

So Danville turned to DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that allows public-school teachers across the nation to post requests for money to aid in purchasing supplies for students and fulfilling class projects. People who visit the site may then donate to the causes of their choice. 

Danville created his weather-station charity on the website on Sept. 25, and almost immediately, a woman identified only as “Cynthia” from Queensbury donated $716 to the cause. 

“I’m in shock that somebody had the amount of charity (that she did),” the teacher said. 

Cynthia’s gift was soon joined by a $10 donation from an anonymous donor and Danville’s own $25 contribution. 

Within just two weeks, the new weather station was paid for and on its way to Beekmantown High School. 

The elaborate device now sits atop the school’s roof collecting a myriad of weather-related data, including information about air pressure, temperature and humidity, which it transmits to the Internet via a data-logger that Danville purchased for the school with his own money. 

That data, combined with information from the National Weather Service, creates readings of the current weather conditions in the Beekmantown area, as well as a seven-day forecast, which is accessible through the “Beekmantown Weather” link on the district’s website: www.bcsdk12.org. 

WEATHER PUZZLE

Danville’s ninth- and 10th-grade earth-science students use the information collected by the station to study meteorology and better understand how weather works.

“It’s another tool that kids can (use to) get interested in earth science,” he said. 

Community members also visit the site to find out for themselves what conditions are like outside.

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