WeatherBug collects data from stations across the county, including some as close as John F. Ryan Elementary School in Tewksbury, to provide programs and applications, including live video feeds, on computers and mobile devices. Officials are still working to determine if Andover residents outside the school system can have direct access to it.
One place that will be able to access it though is WBZ-TV Channel 4, which subscribes to and uses WeatherBug data in its reporting, according to McGrath.
“We know the live data from our Andover station will be featured at times on WBZ early-morning weather broadcasts,” she said.
With the purchase and installation of the station now in the beginning stage, McGrath said she is looking to the bigger picture — how students will benefit when the station arrives.
“The larger vision for me is when kids have more hands-on, inquiry-based learning, it can turn into a lot of larger, real-world applications for them,” McGrath said. “It’s a great way for them to understand the role of geography (in weather).”
In the end, what it boils down to is learning gone “authentic,” something that can be seen and touched as opposed to read in a textbook, according to McGrath.
“I want kids to always have authentic learning experiences, and this is a great thing for them to have because it will be authentic,” she said. “They’ll be using real data.”