Latest TJ Outdoor Classroom Is Volunteer Success Story

Falls Church Times Staff

January 25, 2010

The weather station complements TJ's existing outdoor classroom resources  Photo Courtesy of Lynn Wagner

Photo: The weather station complements TJ's existing outdoor classroom resources. Photo by Lynn Wagner

Welcome to: Are You Smarter than a Thomas Jefferson Elementary School Student?  That’s right, gather ’round all you City of Falls Church armchair intellectuals, real intellectuals, and intellectuals for hire.  Here is your first question: how can you tell the difference between Dolly Parton and the Dalai Lama?

Whoops – that isn’t even close to being the first question and for that we apologize.

That was a question leftover from a proposed Northern Virginia (NOVA), rest of Virginia (ROVA) Comedy Summit, Tractor Pull, Bikram Yoga Championship, and Voter Registration Drive.  Here is the actual question we had in mind: which scientific discipline links Chaos Theory, Aristotle, 90-minute flight delays at San Francisco International, and the 19th century British pharmacist Luke Howard?

Still ciphering on that one?  So are the kids at TJ.  How about this question (the answer is the same): what do thermometers, hygrometers, barometers, and rain gauges have in common?  Answer: they are meteorological tools and all part of TJ’s latest outdoor classroom initiative – a weather station.

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This latest addition to the extensive outdoor classroom resources at TJ was coordinated by Kate Klemic and would not have been possible without the City of Falls Church Elementary PTA Outdoor Classroom Committee and E.E. Levri Construction, LLC.  One hundred percent of the time and materials for this project were either donated or are the result of PTA fund raising and contributions.

The entire weather station contains:

  • a large thermometer in Fahrenheit  and Celsius
  • a hygrometer (this measures relative humidity)
  • a barometer (this measures atmospheric pressure)
  • three rain gauges (these measure rainfall)
  • a weather vane (this measures wind speed and direction)
  • a soil thermometer

David Levri donated his time, materials, and carpentry skills to the creation of the housing for the weather station.

It is certainly possible that as the TJ students hone their meteorological knowledge, conversations like this may be commonplace in the future.

Dad:  Stephan, wash-up for dinner.  Your mother’s flight from Boston is delayed so we’re eating at home tonight.

Stephan:  Really?  I guess the temperature, dew point spread was pretty close – couple that with light winds and it makes sense that the fog is going to roll in off the harbor.

Dad:  Huh?


January 25, 2010 


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