As scientific discovery becomes more data driven, there is a critical need to build a workforce with robust skills in working with data. Nowhere is the need to strengthen learning opportunities greater than in rural areas, where a majority of the nation’s school districts reside and where under-investment persists.

WeatherX is working to advance knowledge of strategies that can promote interest and skills in scientific data practices among middle school students in low-income rural areas. To do so, the project has developed and is studying a set of learning experiences where students use large-scale weather data to investigate typical and extreme weather events on Mount Washington, New Hampshire, and in their rural communities.  Weather and climate data come from EDC’s partner the Mount Washington Observatory—nicknamed “The Home of the World’s Worst Weather”—and from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Key Activities

With weather scientists and educators from the Mount Washington Observatory and partners from across the country—including climate educators, learning scientists, and technology developers—the WeatherX team has been leading the following efforts:

  • Develop and study curriculum materials that involve interactive data investigations of extreme weather events
  • Work with middle school science and mathematics teachers in northern New Hampshire and Maine to develop and test the materials in rural classrooms
  • Integrate and study the use of the Common Online Data Analysis Platform (CODAP) to support students’ data investigations
  • Connect students with community members and their experiences with local weather to strengthen the cultural relevance of students’ learning
  • Build students’ understanding of and interest in science careers through  video demonstrations and virtual live sessions with Mount Washington scientists who specialize in meteorology and climate science and collect climate data


  • WeatherX has provided data-rich science learning experiences for 17 teachers and over 470 middle school students in low-income rural districts in northern New Hampshire and Maine.
  • The project’s data tools support the development of fundamental practices with large-scale scientific data for students around the country.
  • Curriculum activities that connect students with community members engage the broader community in students’ science learning.
  • Through interactions with students, scientists at Mount Washington have learned how to make their work more accessible and of greater career interest to students.

Learn More

National Science Foundation

Mt. Washington Observatory, University of Maine, University of Washington, Concord Consortium