Science Literacy Project and WeatherBug® Schools Improve Achievement Scores and Classroom Atmosphere in New York City Schools
Why Weather? Weather is an Interdisciplinary Subject
World's Largest Weather Network
"This hands-on approach to science, social studies, math, language arts, visual arts, technology, vocabulary and reading helps students develop skills in core subject areas. The difference in the children's capabilities, knowledge and enthusiasm for learning between now and the beginning of the project is very obvious to me."
— Lauren Redmond, Teacher, PS 176
Weather integrates basic science and math concepts as well as a working knowledge of geography and history. As students progress through their projects, they develop science concepts and literacy skills to understand these core principles and apply them through the WeatherBug Achieve program and other online resources.
What started in 2003 as a meteorology club for New York City Region 7 created by Joe Scarmato, regional instructional specialist of science, evolved into an interdisciplinary science program that impacted students across the region. Joe worked with Charlene Smith, also an instructional specialist in that region, to drive the program and assure its ultimate success. By 2006, the project was extended to all NYC schools.
Participants of the project flourished, gaining new levels of academic achievement as well as new levels of independence in choosing their own subject matter and learning style. Friendly competition enhanced relationships among students and teachers.
In the first year, the exam scores of participating students were higher across the board than those of non-participants in mid-project testing. In addition to higher test scores, the students' interest in the subject matter increased — in weather, science, reading, writing, math, social studies and geography. Teacher feedback was overwhelmingly positive. School administrators credited the program with adding tremendous value to their curriculum and boosting students' self-confidence and team spirit.
In the second and third years, pre-tests and post-tests were conducted, with simila