Today’s weather forecast was made by children from older groups of the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Vesnushka kindergarten, together with their teachers and visitors of the event—Good Weather and Bad Weather. What’s more, they did not have to go to the city’s meteorological station—the new weather equipment was installed right on the kindergarten’s premises.
The Young Forecaster project, funded by Sakhalin Energy as part of its Energy Social Initiatives Fund, aims to make studying nature fun for the preschoolers and teach them useful skills. Assisted by adults, the children monitored clouds, determined wind speed and direction, measured precipitation and air temperature, and in the end were even able to forecast weather.
“Hands-on research activities in natural environments play a pivotal role in the ecological education,” says Natalya Nikitina, the kindergarten’s Deputy Director for Pedagogical and Methodological Work. “In the process of exploration, a child learns specific cognitive skills: the ability to observe and to reason, to plan work and predict results, to experiment, compare, analyse, conclude and summarise—in other words, he or she develops cognitive skills.”
During the presentation, the preschoolers learned about the weather station's purpose and its devices: thermometer, weather vane, rain gauge, barometer, compass, hygrometer, wind sleeve, sun clock. They were also taught how to take readings fr om these tools.
The new meteorological equipment will serve as a foundation for the creation of the kindergarten’s eco-space for observing natural phenomena. With its help, the preschoolers will get to know the features of their immediate surroundings that they encounter every day. From now on, even bad weather will come in handy as a source of discoveries. Instead of hiding on the porch, the children will be able to look into the rain gauge, determine how much water has collected in the container, record the findings in the observations diary with the teacher’s help, and at the end of the week make a conclusion on who came out to play with them more often—Good Weather or Bad Weather.
According to Maria Skokova, Specialist of the Sakhalin Energy Social Performance Subdivision, the project is also an important part of early vocational training. “Such practical activities provide children with basic information about weather and its role in people’s lives, familiarise them with the meteorological profession, and teach them how to use weather observation tools.”
The Vesnushka kindergarten is already vying for a record with a total of eight projects implemented in its walls with the support of the company’s Energy Fund. Today, the preschool proudly owns greenhouses wh ere the teachers grow cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, greens and other crops and acquaint their students with the process. Earlier this year, Vesnushka received a traffic park with road crossings, traffic lights and road signs. The kindergarten also hosts elective robotics classes (which helped a team of young kids from Vesnushka to receive an audience favourite prize at a city-wide competition at the start of the year).
3 October 2019