The Hong Kong Observatory, the Department of Applied Physics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Joint-school Meteorological Association jointly held an inauguration ceremony for the "Hong Kong Community Weather Information Network" at the Observatory Headquarters today (August 24).
The website of the network was also officially launched on the Internet today, providing people with weather information from the automatic weather stations of participating schools.
The network is a collaborative effort between the Observatory, the Department of Applied Physics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Joint-school Meteorological Association. The aim is to gather weather information from automatic weather stations in schools and organisations, carry out the appropriate data quality assurance, and make it available on the Internet for use by the public. At present, the network has 35 school members. Interested schools and organisations are welcome to join the network.
The Department of Applied Physics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University is responsible for establishing and operating the network website, as well as assisting network members to operate their weather stations. The Hong Kong Joint-school Meteorological Association is responsible for liaison with front-line school teachers in organising activities to promote weather education in primary and secondary schools. It also co-operates with the Department of Applied Physics in assisting school members in the installation and maintenance of automatic weather stations.
The Observatory provides professional advice on the installation and maintenance of the automatic weather stations, and renders technical assistance in the setting up of the network website.
Looking ahead, the three parties will continue to co-operate closely in the development of educational packages and organising weather related activities for schools and the community.
Chief Curriculum Development Officer of the Science Education Section of the Education Bureau, Mr YT Lau, said, "We are very pleased with the results of collaboration between the Observatory, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and schools in realising the Network."
He said the Education Bureau fully supported this initiative in helping to raise students' knowledge and interest in weather."
Chair Professor and Head of Department of Applied Physics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Professor Helen Chan, said it was a very promising start for advancing science education in Hong Kong. They looked forward to a fruitful collaboration capitalising on the experience of school teachers, the professional knowledge of Observatory colleagues and the expertise in applied science and sensor technology of the Department of Applied Physics.
As the effects of global warming become more noticeable, public awareness of the need for conservation is also on the rise. Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr CY Lam, said, "The Hong Kong Community Weather Information Network is a very meaningful endeavour as it collates and makes available the data collected by weather enthusiasts and supporters. The Observatory hopes to further advance weather education in Hong Kong through closer co-operation with universities, schools and organisations in the community".
The Hong Kong Joint-school Meteorological Association will launch the "Green Top Campaign" with its school members. Chairman of the Hong Kong Joint-school Meteorological Association, Mr ML Liu, asaid: "We will strive to liaise closely with schools and teachers in developing weather-related activities and educational materials. In the coming school year, with the support of the Observatory and the Polytechnic University, we will implement the "Green Top Campaign" to alert students and the public to the effects of climate change".
The Hong Kong Community Weather Information Network website has been linked to the Observatory homepage at http://www.weather.gov.hk/contente.htm. The public can also access the website at http://weather.ap.polyu.edu.hk/index.php of the Department of Applied Physics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.