By JEFFREY CULLEN-DEAN|Oct. 01, 2019 – 5:08 PM
During work on his Eagle Scout project, Cooper Sipes learned Glanton Elementary School lacked a weather station to help fourth-grade students learn meteorology.
The scout said his project initially focused on building water bottle rocket launchers for the school’s Science Olympiad team, but once he learned of the need for a weather station, he decided to contribute that as well.
Sipes, a student at Smokey Road Middle School, attended Glanton for elementary school.
“We put up a weather station because that’s part of the Georgia standards for fourth grade and they didn’t have a weather station to teach the kids how to use. So they had to figure it out without one. But I’m hoping to change that,” Sipes said.
First Sipes was just going to do water rockets, but as he realized the school needed a weather station, he wanted to give them one, too.
Sipes said he reached out to North Georgia Weather on Facebook to see if they would donate a used weather station.
Steve Bruek, operator of NGW, responded and told Sipes he had an old weather station that he would donate.
“It had just been sitting around here,” Bruek said. “It was one I used for eight years or so.”
Before sending the weather station to Sipes, Bruek said he first had it refurbished by the manufacturer, Davis.
Bruek, a retired teacher, said he installed several weather stations at schools during his career and still wanted to encourage students to learn about the weather.
“I thought it was going to waste here,” Bruek said. “And I thought it was a great way for kids to learn about the weather and get excited – and maybe become meteorologists.”
The weather station features instruments to measure rainfall, wind speed and direction, and atmospheric pressure. The device connects to a console in the classroom so students can read the recorded data from wherever they are, said Sipes.
Sipes, his brother and another scout in his troop attached the weather station to the top of a 20-foot flagpole.
First, Sipes said, they dug a hole and installed the pole in the ground. The boys then filled the hole with concrete to keep the pole standing.
According to Sipes, Glanton Elementary’s Science Olympiad team lacked the necessary equipment for the students to fully participate in competitions.
“When I was there, they didn’t have the ability to participate in the water rocket competition because they didn’t have the launchers for it. So they had no way of testing the water rockets, and I wanted to let other kids do that in the future,” Sipes said. “They build water rockets using two-liter Coke bottles and to launch them, you have to build pressure inside the bottle. To build pressure, you have to have some kind of launcher.”
In the water rocket competition, students use launchers as a base on the ground and to build pressure to fire the bottles into the air. Whichever team’s is the highest wins. A trigger mechanism is used to launch the bottle after enough air and pressure have been supplied, according to Sipes.
The scout said he is finishing a prototype launcher made out of PVC pipe and will build four of the devices to donate to Glanton Elementary’s Science Olympiad team.
Sipes said he plans to have the project completed by the end of the month.