Inquiry Project – Setting Up a Weather Station

I really enjoyed this learning project. I found it most enjoyable because I already had an intrinsic motivation to learn this topic. I now realize the value in allowing students some autonomy in choosing their topics. Then, the teacher can suggest various methods on how to go about learning.

The weather station was something I received for Christmas, but never installed. I will admit that I have a little bit of prior knowledge about 20151025_171347meteorology due to a former job position. There was a crew at that employer who installed meteorological towers throughout Manitoba. I was always interested in their work and often questioned them about their field of expertise. So, I chose this topic.

As I started this project, I became aware of all of the learning that was occurring. This included learning that others were experiencing as well. For example, after I disassembled and then reassembled the anemometer (wind speed sensor), my 2 year old daughter said, “my turn”. She took the precision screwdriver from me and proceeded to pretend to loosen the screws. I had no idea she was watching. It reminded me the importance of modeling appropriate behaviour. I then decided to allow my family to participate in the project. As it turned out, I needed their help on more than one occasion.

I found out that higher learning comes when the problems become more difficult. The instruction manual assumed that certain mounting provisions (ie. the mast) existed. I had to figure out how to design a mast first. This is the type of hurdle where many learners would call it quits. However, the deeper learning occurred as a result of the difficulty. As educators, we need to help our students embrace the challenges and allow them to experience the sense of achievement when overcoming these difficulties.

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