Texans are known for always having the biggest and best under the sun. Well, apparently, the Storm Search 7 SchoolNet network falls under that category as well.
When SchoolNet started back in 1998 at KVII, we only had 45 sites. Now we are up to (124) sites and counting. Our unofficial survey of other SchoolNet networks in Texas and the nation has turned up some interesting information. In 2004, KXAN-TV in Austin used to have over 200 weather stations in their network and was the biggest SchoolNet in Texas. Today they have dropped to only 70 sites.
What about being the largest in the entire U.S.? KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa has a large SchoolNet network of 72 sites, making them second to our (124) sites!
But what about being the best SchoolNet in the country? Well, how about asking the teachers what they think of the weather station network, and how they use it?
Rohn Butterfield, Geology-Meteorology-Oceanography teacher at Caprock High School (one of our 27 SchoolNet sites in Amarillo and Canyon), said his students are fascinated with how the weather can vary so much over so little space, especially in Amarillo and Canyon. He said that by being able to see sites such as the ones at Bushland High School and the Oasis RV Resort, he can teach his students about why those two sites are so windy (fewer trees, less wind friction) than other SchoolNet sites in town that have more trees nearby.
Sometimes, being the largest in the country doesn't always mean that the quality is the best. Our Storm Search 7 SchoolNet has both!
Other Storm Week 2010 stories: