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Met Office encourages next generation scientists by trialling weather observation equipment in schools

The Met Office has launched WOW Schools, a project to help inspire and educate a new generation of scientists.

The Met Office has launched WOW Schools, a project to help inspire and educate a new generation of scientists. WOW Schools will provide ten lucky schools with an automatic weather station and educational resources for the classroom. Schools teaching 7 to 11 year olds, from all corners of the UK, are invited to enter a competition to be selected as one of the ten schools taking part in the pilot of WOW Schools.

As part of the prize, winning schools will be provided with high-tech observation equipment in order to feed in real time weather observations for their location into the Met Office's Weather Observation Website (WOW). The observation data provided by the schools will help build on the Met Office's unique position to use these observations to improve weather forecasts and warnings for all. Schools will also be given bespoke educational materials to enable students to develop their skills relating to the meteorological data they are collecting. Students will use a combination of physical observation methods and automated technology to record weather observations as part of their studies, allowing them to make practical measurements, analyse information and share their data via WOW. The ten schools will also have access to a dedicated forecast for their location on the Met Office's website, generated by the organisation's new supercomputer, allowing better planning during the tricky winter period.

To enter the competition schools are required to submit a written application to wow@metoffice.gov.uk, explaining what they hope to get out of the project and why they believe their school deserves to be entered in the draw. Schools should submit their entries by midnight on 30 November 2015.The ten schools will then be chosen on 7 December, ensuring that each country of the UK is represented.

Felicity Liggins, Met Office Senior Scientist and Outreach Coordinator commented: "We are excited about this opportunity to engage children in meteorology and weather observations in partnership with schools. At the Met Office, we are passionate about educating young people on the impacts of weather and climate in both their local area and at a global scale as well as encouraging the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technologists. Through this project we hope to increase pupils' engagement and understanding of the science behind the weather and how they can help improve the forecast and weather warnings for all. Once the pilot is completed we will be releasing a report with recommendations on how the project can be brought to life at a national scale, so even more children can benefit from this hands-on experience."

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