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Tracking Climate in Your Backyard

Main Project Information
Presented By the Paleontological Research Institution
Goal Engage youth in real science via weather tracking.
Task Record and share precipitation data.
Where Tracking Climate in Your Backyard

Tracking Climate in Your Backyard sought to engage youth in real science through the collection, recording, and understanding of precipitation data in the forms of rain, hail, and snow. The project is completed, but educational materials are still available on our website.

The purpose of this project was to encourage youth, specifically ages 8-12, to better understand the scientific process by engaging them in the collection of meaningful meteorological data in their community. In this way, youth developed an understanding of scientific methods and standardization, and by recording and sharing their data through a citizen science project, they recognized the importance of accurate data collection. The citizen science portion of the project, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), collects precipitation data for scientific analysis and for use by the National Weather Service, the USDA, emergency managers, insurance adjusters, teachers and students, engineers, and others. We believe that when youth know they are contributing data to real, scientific cause, their engagement levels rise.

This National Science Foundation-funded project was a collaboration between the Paleontological Research Institution, which has experience in professional development and informal education, New York State 4-H, which provides an excellent outreach base and fosters hands-on, experiential learning for youth, and the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network, which runs a citizen science project to record precipitation measurements in an online database.

How to Join

Please direct any questions about the project to Ingrid Zabel, Climate Change Education Manager, 607-273-6623, ex.22, or

Project Timing This project is completed, but the main CoCoRaHS project is active. Our educational materials are still freely available online.
Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Other
Average Time Less than an hour
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity In snow or rain, At school, At a science center, zoo or aquarium
Class Materials
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags climate, curriculum, hail, precipitation, rain, snow, weather
Project Updated 01/30/2018