The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages who measure and report precipitation using rain gauges that anyone can get and install. The data according to CoCoRaHS are used by the National Weather Service, 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. Read more about how CoCoRaHS can be implemented in high school classrooms in SciStarter’s Citizen Science in the Classroom series blog post. CoCoRaHS is one of the citizen science projects showcased in our back to school newsletter. Want to know what the others are? Find out now!
With the start of the school year, CoCoRaHS is gearing up for its bi-annual “Rain Gauge Week”. Once in the fall and again in the spring registered schools dust off their rain gauges, set them outside and record their local precipitation for one week.
“While CoCoRaHS accepts measurements throughout the entire year, this event is a way to remind teachers back from their summer breaks to continue reporting their data to us,” explains Noah Newman, the Network’s Education Coordinator. “This season we anticipate over 900 participating schools.”
The fall campaign runs September 15 – 21st, and this year organizers have added a special prize. Schools that submit data throughout the campaign will be eligible to win a virtual classroom visit with CoCoRaHS founder and Colorado state climatologist Nolan Doesken. Doesken will provide a short lecture about climatology, followed by an open Q & A. The event will be a great opportunity for students to interact directly with an expert and ask him anything they want to know about weather or the climate. A drawing will be held to determine the winner. In addition, depending on the winning school’s location, CoCoHS may be able to arrange for the state’s climatologist as well as a meteorologist from a nearby National Weather Service office to join the event.
This event is just one of many education focused components to CoCoRaHS. Over the years, their team has developed educational content aligned with the National Science Education Standards for grades K-12. Incorporating CoCoRaHS into a science curriculum is easy since the cost of equipment is low and time commitment flexible. Plus involvement can be tailored to suit the age and interest of students. (Educators, check out CoCoRaHS developed lesson plans, activity planners and other resources for your school.)
CoCoRaHS also expanded its presence to the White House. In March CoCoRaHs installed perhaps its most famous and certainly most secure rain gauge in the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden. This was part of the White House’s commitment to education and the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science.
Access the official announcement for Rain Gauge Week and learn how to register for the event.
Read more about CoCoRaHS: