Roshan Mathew, 15, religiously follows weather forecasts and climate news every day. A Class 10 student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Powai, Mathew and his classmates are looking forward to monitoring daily temperatures, wind speed and humidity in their own school.
By the end of the year, the Indian Meteorological Society (IMS), a non-profit organisation that promotes climate science in collaboration with the India Meteorology Department (IMD), Colaba, will set up a rain gauge, barometer and anemometer in the Powai school’s premises to measure rainfall, atmospheric pressure and wind speed respectively.
In an effort to popularise climate studies among school students, the IMD has started providing logistical support to install weather instruments in various schools and bring these observatories into their own network.
“We want to cultivate a scientific temper among students. When many schools have such small observatories, they can share weather data from those locations with us,” said VK Rajeev, director, western region, IMD.
Over the past one year, IMS has conducted workshops in these schools, which plan to start weather clubs to study climate. “We have assigned the task of checking temperature, wind speed and humidity every day to Class 10 and Class 11 students. This is done to provide them with a hands-on approach to learn more about the local weather pattern,” said Alok Kumar, a physics professor at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Powai.
Students are excited about getting weather instruments on their school campus. “Understanding fluctuations in rain and wind patterns fascinates me. After learning about real-time weather forecasting at the IMD workshop, I surfed several websites for information on climate change and weather patterns,” said Pradyumna Chari, 15, a student of Rajhans Vidyalaya.
Next month, IMD will introduce students from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Powai, to a real-time weather forecasting room and observatory. “I want to learn how weather forecasting takes place. I want to find out how they [weather officials] predict the intensity and timing of rainfall,” said Nandini Shruti, a student of the school.