Central Ohio residents looking for real-time weather conditions can get texts with daily updates or have easy access to weather forecasts through WeatherSTEM -- a device installed on the roof of the Wellington School this past summer.

Central Ohio residents looking for real-time weather conditions can get texts with daily updates or have easy access to weather forecasts through WeatherSTEM -- a device installed on the roof of the Wellington School this past summer.

Real-time information about the weather is available online.

Wellington is the only school in Ohio with a WeatherSTEM unit, which gathers and stores data on current weather conditions and forecasts. The device also allows students of all ages at the school to engage in STEM-based lessons and activities about meteorology, Lower School teacher Michelle Lewis said.

She said an internal faculty engagement grant of an undisclosed amount helped pay for the unit, which is listed at $2,995 for installation and $1,750 annually for support on the WeatherSTEM website at weatherstem.com.

Lewis said she discovered the device by researching weather resources to be used by the school's Early Childhood Program for children age 3 to 6.

"I was impressed with the capabilities of the unit, which goes well beyond the most typical weather stations, with a cloud camera, data-mining capability and a soil unit, which measures moisture and radiation," she said.

The unit was initially planned as an outdoor weather station to be used mainly by the Early Childhood program.

"When I read more about the WeatherSTEM unit, I realized that this was something which could be utilized by the entire school," Lewis said.

She said the weather station enhances the outdoor space used for science, art, math and literacy by Lower School grades, with the goal to encourage students "to become engaged with what is happening outside their windows."

"It includes a garden for attracting butterflies, birds and bees, a water feature for wetland study, a messy area for art exploration and spaces for gathering," she said.

The system will send daily weather updates to subscribers via text, Twitter, email or Facebook.

Lewis said younger children at the school are able to record the daily weather and view pictures taken every second by the cloudcam, which could lead to discoveries about clouds and the correlation and effect of clouds on weather. Students may also measure soil moisture, chart plant growth and experiment with soil variables as they use information from the device.

Lewis said older students would conduct more sophisticated experiments with aquaponics or aqua farming.

No user name or password is necessary to access the system -- people may visit the website, go to TWSWxSTEM on Twitter or visit the Facebook page The Wellington School Weatherstem.

According to the company website, WeatherSTEM was launched in March 2014. Its goal was to develop interactive K-12 STEM curriculum with a heavy focus on atmospheric sciences and agriculture and gardening.

Lewis said the WeatherSTEM Co. is planning to be in more than 60 counties in Florida by October and has units at Penn State and a few other places in Pennsylvania.