Dubai: Students of a Dubai-based school have come up with a fully functional weather station that they claim accurately predict weather conditions using satellite imagery.
The station – called ‘Weather- ing Heights’, launched by students of the Indian High School, Oud Metha campus, comprises a tower that can capture and relay data into classrooms to let students analyse the weather.
Punit MK Vasu, CEO, Indian High Group of Schools, told Gulf News that the project had been spearheaded by the school’s alumni but implemented and monitored by students of the middle and secondary sections.
“Weather-ing Heights is the latest in a series of projects and assignments taken up by the school as part of its STEM curriculum. This is also an initiative to commemorate the Cop28 conference due to be held in November in UAE. We want our students to be more acutely aware of and actively involved in issues related to climate control,” he said, adding that knowledge of local weather conditions is a good starting point.
The project involves signals from three polar orbit satellites belonging to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)- NOAA 15, NOAA 18 and NOAA 19 as they pass over the UAE, which will be the primary source of information. These signals are decoded into images using a special software and are further analysed to identify weather patterns. The weather updates are uploaded on a special purpose-built website designed for the purpose.
The school has also installed a 5 in 1 multi sensor that provides supplemental data on a 12- hour weather forecast, precipitation quantity, outdoor and indoor temperature and humidity levels, air pressure, wind direction and wind speed.
Decoding these images and using this data, students decipher all aspects of the local weather, and make simple predictions. This information is then shared over the school radio and in assemblies to build awareness and spread knowledge.
Season of stars, satellites and sky watch
Vasu said, “India has just completed its Chandrayaan mission and UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has just returned from his space mission. This is the season of stars, satellites and sky watch, and it was only a matter of time before our learners wanted to attempt something of their own. “Weather-ing Heights” is a perfect example of our academic provision. The entire project has been conceptualised and executed by students from start to finish.”
The students are a thrilled lot.
Dhanishta Akash (Technovator 11&12 Girls) said, "In the realm of science and technology, to have a personalised weather satellite in our school is indeed a proud moment. The training to understand the process and technology behind it was challenging and at the same time enthralling. It does not stop here, we aim to share this data by updating it on our school's weather website in real time.Very grateful to our alumni and teachers who guided us throughout this journey."
Daniel Thomas, Technovator, 11&12 Boys, said, "Weather-ing Heights’ shows IHS’s unparalleled commitment to being at the forefront of the Digital Revolution. The launch of the project not only enhances the school-alumni bond, it also prepares students for an ever-changing future and gives us an introduction to highly coveted data science know-how. The future of this project looks very promising, and I’m proud to be a part of such a novel initiative."
Alistair Fernandes (Digital Ambassador, 11&12 Boys) said, “The successful launch of Weather-ing Heights is truly a momentous occasion in the captivating and diverse history of the Indian High group of schools, and having the opportunity to be a part of it exhilarates me. This is only the beginning of what we hope to achieve with this project, and I cannot wait to see its growth in the future."
Pearl Dsilva (Digital Ambassador 9 & 10 Girls) said, “Ever since the first day and the first training program, I knew this was a project to dedicate all my energy and time to, and I was not disappointed. It was great to work with all the teachers, staff, and alumni as this became a great learning journey for me. I truly appreciate all the hard work done by everybody to make this possible. Thank you, alumni, for creating and developing this amazing project. My team and I will do our utmost to take this project into its next phase.”
The alumni were only too happy to help.
Anirudh, from the 2020 HIS batch, said, “I love space, and I love empowering others with the tools they need to find their interests. It was a pleasure working with IHS as an alumni to help teach the next generation and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Ammar Ahmed, from the 2021 batch, said, “Returning to IHS to build this project was the best way I could express gratitude to the institution. Every iteration of the process was met with great enthusiasm by my team. It’s only above and beyond from here.”
Abijay Nair, a third alumnus from 2018 batch said, “This is an amazing project to enable students to learn about the Earth’s weather with a hands on, data-driven process, something very important for the years to come, and it has been an incredible opportunity to have been back in school to work on it.”