Community Science Weather Data Project

Curious about what it takes to collect weather data? Learn about the APS’ historic weather journals and how we’re collecting meteorological data through a Community Science Project.

The weather has always interested people. The APS's Library & Museum is home to various historic weather journals which document this long-standing interest in weather and weather patterns. The APS’ historic weather journals, coupled with the themes of the exhibitions Dr. Franklin, Citizen Scientist and Becoming Weatherwise, were the inspiration for a Community Science Project in collaboration with local students.

The 2021-2022 Community Science Project is in partnership with Bodine High School and Newtown Middle School. From October 2021-May 2022, students will collect daily weather data throughout the school week. Bodine and Newtown students are collecting weather readings similar to what is found in many historic weather journals: temperature, air pressure, wind speed, the general weather, and outside observations. Students are taking these readings at times similar to when Jefferson and Madison collected weather data: once in the morning to get a cooler temperature and once in the afternoon when the temperature was at its warmest. The students are keeping these records in journals of their own. APS staff then put that data into a digital form. All similar to what has been done with weather data gathered by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Click on their names to see what those datasets look like. 

Among the early scientists whose records are at the APS's Library & Museum is a Germantown resident named Ann Haines. Ann Haines lived and took readings at what is now the Wyck Historic House. The APS will be partnering with Wyck throughout the 2022 year to help transcribe Ann’s weather journal and make her data accessible.