Ethel Jacobsen School Student-Scientists Put New Rain Gauge to the Test

May 10, 2017

It’s “Rain Gauge Week” as designated by the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network – a nonprofit, community-based network of volunteers who measure and map precipitation – and Tracy Sherrier’s second-grade class at the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School is excitedly logging local rainfall.

The Long Beach Island Parent Teacher Association recently purchased a rain gauge, which is now installed alongside the herb beds in the E.J. schoolyard garden, in Surf City, school nurse Bianca Aniski pointed out.

As Sherrier explained, “My class has been participating in CoCoRaHS data collection since April 20. Every day before recess the class goes to the garden and measures the rainfall for the previous 24 hours. We then input that data on the CoCoRaHS website,” cocorahs.org.

CoCoRaHS Education Coordinator Noah Newman said this week – Rain Gauge Week – “is a simple opportunity for all educators and schools to participate by reporting data, all during the same week.” The campaign runs from Tuesday, May 9, through Monday, May 15.

CoCoRaHS (pronounced KO-ko-rozz) “is used by a wide variety of organizations and individuals,” notes the website. “The National Weather Service, other meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities, insurance adjusters, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, engineers, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, outdoor and recreation interests, teachers, students, and neighbors in the community are just some examples of those who visit our website and use our data.

“By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive website, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications,” adds the site, which also includes resources such as lesson plans and video tutorials.

“Measuring rainfall has tied in beautifully with our current units of studying in science (weather) and math (measurement),” said Sherrier. “The students are very excited about being scientists and being a part of a global community of data collectors.”

Visit cocorahs.org to view data maps and other information. The E.J. School's precipitation station designation is NJ-OC-74. —J.K.-H.

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