Forecasting a Bright Future: Reach Cyber Charter School Partners with WeatherSTEM, Installs New Weather Station

PA’s newest public cyber charter school integrates real-time weather data in Reach Cyber science and math curricula


HARRISBURG (Dec. 13, 2016)—Reach Cyber Charter School, a Pennsylvania Connections Academy and the state’s newest full-time, tuition-free, public cyber charter school is one of the first K-12 schools in Pennsylvania to partner with WeatherSTEM to integrate real-time weather data into enriched science and math curricula for students.

To do so, the Reach Cyber Charter School headquarters on East Park Drive in Harrisburg now hosts a WeatherSTEM weather station, installed today, which measures and records wind speed, rain fall, temperature, humidity and barometric pressure, among other elements. The weather station’s camera also captures a photo every minute that can be watched online. A time-lapse of the minute-by-minute photos from any 24-hour period can be seen in 30-second videos, and all data from the station is accessible from the first day of installation.

All of this data is available through a WeatherSTEM application that Reach Cyber Charter teachers can use to promote data and environmental literacy with their students. Any weather situation, from a few cumulus humilis clouds to a Category Five hurricane, can be a topic of discussion in the classroom.

“This is an excellent example of our commitment to experiential, enriched STEM learning opportunities, which is a hallmark of our school for all grade levels,” said Jane Swan, principal of Reach Cyber Charter, which is now serving more than 800 students across Pennsylvania. “The ability for our students and families to use and manipulate data, experience real-time weather events through their class work and have access to the weather station information whenever they wish is why this WeatherSTEM partnership is so perfect for Reach,” she said.

WeatherSTEM came to Reach with the arrival of the school’s new STEM coordinator, Scott Stuccio. Stuccio, a former television meteorologist, himself, is a Penn State alumni as is the founder and CEO of WeatherSTEM , Edward Mansouri. “Ed was doing great things with WeatherSTEM technology for online and traditional schools throughout Florida, and I couldn’t wait to see how we could bring the platform to Reach students in Pennsylvania,” Stuccio said. “Our classroom teachers are excited to begin embedding the data in their lessons, and our Science Explorers club will have a great time diving in to the activities.”

According to WeatherSTEM’s Mansouri, before they know it, students are downloading data, organizing it to solve problems and present it graphically, and thinking critically to answer questions and analyze the information. “And they’re doing all of this work using sophisticated technology which is where my passion really is. Innovating education with technology is exactly what Reach Cyber Charter is doing, and I’m really thrilled to be able to bring our WeatherSTEM system to these students in Pennsylvania,” Mansouri said.

About Reach Cyber Charter School
Reach Cyber Charter School is a recently approved statewide, tuition-free, online public charter school for students in grades K-12 (initially serving students in grades K-9). The school was approved in April 2016 by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is now serving students in grades K-9 for the 2016-17 school year. Reach Cyber, a Pennsylvania Connections Academy, provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere there is an Internet connection and with an innovative online school curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of certified Pennsylvania-based teachers, an award-winning curriculum, engaging electives, technology tools, and social experiences provides a supportive online learning opportunity for students who want an individualized approach to education. Reach Cyber incorporates 21st-century learning and STEM-enrichment opportunities, as well as flexible pacing options that allow all students to choose attendance based on a traditional calendar option, year-round option, or for high school students, an accelerated schedule. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit www.ReachCyberCharter.com.