Early on a Feburary morning in 2015, an experienced mountain climber set out to hike the Presidential Range in New Hampshire. Although she'd climbed many peaks in all kinds of weather, she was caught in an extreme weather event and perished on a trail, short of her goal: the summit of Mount Washington, often called "Home of the World's Worst Weather." How did the weather change so quickly from what was predicted when she started her hike? What factors contribute to extreme weather events like those that occur regularly at Mount Washington?

The WeatherX project will develop classroom materials that help grade 8 students explore these questions, analyzing publicly available weather data collected by the Mount Washington Observatory (MWO) and the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI). The curriculum will integrate two student-friendly online tools— one for analyzing data and one for modeling systems dynamics —in an inquiry-based science exploration of weather and climate, studying both this particular event as well as a local weather event in their rural community.

Throughout the project, students will have opportunities to interact with and learn from MWO scientists. The project team will explore ways in which scientists at MWO can engage with students through live video and other virtual channels to support data investigations and to provide deeper views into the lives and careers of professional scientists.

This National Science Foundation-funded project is a collaboration between Education Development Center (EDC) and Mount Washington Observatory, and includes project partners from the University of Maine, the University of Washington, and The Concord Consortium, as well as eighth-grade science teachers from the Mount Washington region.

To learn more, contact Jo Louie at

Project Staff

  • Josephine Louie (Project Lead), EDC
  • Asli Sezen Barrie, University of Maine
  • Brian Fitzgerald, Mount Washington Observatory
  • Kevin Waterman, EDC
  • Deborah Morrison, University of Washington
  • Pamela Buffington, EDC
  • William Finzer, The Concord Consortium
  • Brianna Roche, EDC
  • Emily Fagan, EDC
  • Sarah Jessen (Evaluator), University of Southern Maine

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, grant # 1850447. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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