12 April 2018


Over the past few weeks we have been collecting data about the weather. Each school day at 10.50 am and 1.45pm we have gathered our weather results from the digital monitor that signals to the weather station we have had temporarily installed on the playground. We thought that to ensure our results we consistent we would:

  • keep the station in the same place and use the same station for the whole time
  • read it at the same times every day
Every child in the class learnt how to read the little monitor so they were able to record the findings. 

Today we took our last piece of data and here's what our completed data collection looks like:

Following this, we all got together and began analysing the data we had collected. 

We worked hard and had many discussions. Here are our thoughts:

What we noticed about our data!

      The average temp was 19.6
·       The hottest temp was 25.8
·       Not a lot of rain
·       Temp varies and changes throughout the day
·       Temp seems to be coolest when it is a NW wind
·       Wind speed reached no more than 16.2 at the time of measuring
·       Wind direction changed between readings most days
·       Average cloud cover was a 2 rating
·       Average rainfall was 0.0
·       Most common wind direction was a Westerly
·       Only 1 day with no cloud -1 on our cloud rating scale
·       Highest rainfall was 3.0
·       Temp was warmest with a westerly wind –warm air
·       Lowest temp was 13.0 at the times we measured
·       NO NE wind –uncommon

Throughout our data collection time we learnt a lot of things and figured out some issues with our data collection, which showed some inconsistencies or interesting results.
Due to our personal experiences with the weather, we noticed that the station was not collecting and measuring rainfall accurately, or more wondered if it was measuring the rain per hour.
Below if our collaborative PMI chart that we constructed after our collection.

·     Noticing the changes in weather
·     Using a digital station –easy to use and read
·     Fun to collect the data ourselves
·     Kept to same time slot each day
·     Different people were able to collect it each day

·     Sometimes we forgot
·     Rainfall was not accurate
·     Couldn’t collect air pressure, or wind chill factor
·     Had to go to hall –wasn’t close to class
·     Didn’t learn how the weather station actually works and collects the data
·     Couldn’t physically watch the station collect the data
·     Difficult to make a judgement on the cloud cover as it often looked different straight over head as to what it did further away.
·       Learning about the weather
·       Learning to read the digital screen
·       Differences in weather between collections
·       That a machine can gather/measure weather
·       Noticing all the interesting results
·       How it managed to stay on the pole
·       If the rainfall wasn’t accurate, was everything else?
·       Was there any way we could have made this collection more accurate? –variables?

We decided that it was a shame that the station was not able to collect the data every day and save it e.g. over the weekends so we were able to get more daily data. This might have shown different trends.

We found it very interesting noticing that the rainfall measurer was not accurate. This allowed us to pose questions such as: is it collecting the rainfall data based on the last hour, 24hours etc?
If we were to do this data collection again, it is possible that we would change a few things to try and gather more accurate, consistent data. Based on what we know about fair testing we would think about:
Ø  Different system?
Ø  Setting an alarm so we remember
Ø  Perhaps placing the station in a different place
Ø  Collecting data 2 different ways to compare/check our data
Ø  Having the same people measure for user consistency
Ø  Exploring a way to collect it every day including weekends
Ø  Inclusion of wind chill, air pressure and a more detailed analysis of the clouds, perhaps including the types of clouds, visual pictures too,  to give us more data to analyse and compare

This has been a valuable exercise, allowing us to use skills such as observing and interpreting the weather and different representations of it, gathering and recording data and measuring. Following the collection of our data we have been able to look for trends in our data, pose further questions about what we found and have been able to identify the elements of our testing that may be fair or unfair. 

It has been a wonderful opportunity for us all to engage in science by participating in an ongoing experiment and collaborate our ideas through discussions and group work. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure you and your class have learnt lots of information about the weather during this subject. It looks like lots of fun.