Venice Cadets explore STEM Through Air Force Outreach Program
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
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Civil Air Patrol cadets make cloud observations and view the mounted sensor and rainfall collector provided with the Air Force outreach program STEM kit at The Student Leadership Academy in Venice, Florida.

By Capt. Madeline Kirsten, Commander, Student Leadership Academy Cadet Sqn.
VENICE, Fla.--Civil Air Patrol cadets at The Student Leadership Academy charter middle school are benefiting from CAP’s collaboration with Air Force STEM Outreach program. The cadets have been exploring meteorology with the new weather station STEM kit provided by the program. The middle-school students are now able to forecast and monitor weather conditions 24 hours a day.

The squadron mounted the illuminated display inside the school, while the rainfall collector/funnel was mounted outside high atop the school, to collect rainfall and measurements specific to the local area’s air environment.The cadets can measure indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, rain, barometric pressure and more. The outdoor sensor features five different technologies in one unit consisting of a thermometer, hygrometer, wind speed anemometer, wind direction vane and a self-emptying rainfall collector cup.

“The Weather Station STEM kit is extremely useful because it allows you to look on one screen and see so much detailed information at the same time,” said Cadet Master Sergeant Cruz.

The cadets selected to study the Air Environment from the collection of CAP Aerospace Dimensions Modules. “This builds their understanding and increase their ability to use the weather station to its fullest capacity.” In addition to learning about weather, cadets explore high-tech civilian and military careers associated with meteorology. “The cadets were especially excited to learn about the possibility of becoming Air Force Weather Specialists and Air Force Weather Officers.”

Unlike STEM kits intended for one-time use, the weather station STEM kit is now a continuing, permanent fixture at The Student Leadership Academy middle school. “I like that the Weather Station STEM kit is an ongoing kit that operates at the squadron throughout the year,” said Cadet Master Sergeant Merlino.

Aerospace Education Officer, Captain Madeline Kirsten-Bouchane explained that the Acu-Rite Professional Weather Station STEM kit is the fourth STEM kit explored by the cadets at The Student Leadership Academy. “The CAP provided Weather Station has surpassed all of our squadron’s expectations. We are grateful to the Civil Air Patrol STEM kit program for enhancing Aerospace Education at our school squadron, and we look forward to the upcoming school year, and our next Civil Air Patrol STEM kit adventure.”

Cadets reading the weather station display to make data-based weather predictions.

Article Information
Reviewed by: Lt. Col. Jeff P. Carlson
Syndicated to: Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5
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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.
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