National Snowschool Program and Weather Station Pilot Project

TitleNational Snowschool Program and Weather Station Pilot Project
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2017
AuthorsMcClay, Kerry, Luce Charlie, Black Tom, and Lute Abigail
Conference Name85th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date Published2017
Conference LocationBoise, Idaho

Winter Wildlands Alliance’s National SnowSchool Program introduces K-12 students to the joy of
exploring our nation's winter wildlands. A growing national education program utilizing an innovative snowhydrology
curriculum, SnowSchool annually engages over 30,000 participants across 60 sites. However, one
potential problem with a field trip program like SnowSchool is little or no connection back to the classroom. The
result can be a weak “one-and-done” experiential program that fails to spark further learning. To counteract this
trend, Western Wildlands Alliance and the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station installed a new
snowpack monitoring weather station at the Bogus Basin SnowSchool site near Boise, Idaho. The station’s online
snowpack data and WWA’s unique web-based educational activities provided teachers with a classroom resource
that transformed learning at SnowSchool from a 1-day outing into a 3-month science exploration. To understand the
impact of this pilot project we collected pre/post student science quizzes. Results demonstrated significant gains in
student learning. (KEYWORDS: Bogus Basin, Winter Wildlands Alliance, SnowSchool, environmental education)