DONGOLA -- The Dongola Unit School District has a new tool to help teach the science behind weather along with a new alert system to warn against lightning.
The school is the newest member of the WeatherBug network in southern Illinois after the school received a $25,000 grant from Monsanto, just one of three schools in Illinois to receive a America Farmers Grow Rural America grant. The district used the money to buy a camera, a weather station, and a lightning alert system from WeatherBug.
"Farming is our daily life and we're weather dependent," said superintendent Paige Helm Maginel. "So now, we will actually be a location that serves our community."
Administrators say the weather station will let students see live conditions at the school, adding a hands on and visual lesson plan to the curriculum.
"We will move from lesson specific lessons for science, math, and engineering to more of an inquiry based approach where we can use live, real data," explained Maginel.
Live weather information that is difficult to receive in rural areas.
"Other networks are just at the airports," said WeatherBug meteorologist Ben Michalak. "So we get more pinpoint weather data into these smaller communities where they're many miles away from the airport."
You can see images from all the WeatherBug Cameras across the region here.