Germantown, MD–June 25, 2007–WeatherBug®, the leading provider of live, local weather information, today announced it will showcase new educational programming tools at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in Atlanta, June 25-27. Representatives from WeatherBug and its programming partners, Leopard Programming and The Phrogram Company, will be at the NECC (Booth #3134) to demonstrate how students of all ages can use these tools to create compelling and creative applications–such as Web-based widgets and gadgets– incorporating live weather information from the WeatherBug Network.
WeatherBug also launched today a National Online Science and Programming Fair for students in grades K-12. The Fair, designed to teach students about innovative ways to display substantial information while researching and learning about the environment around them, will take place this fall. Students across the country can compete by writing programs that run in a Web browser or on the desktop, incorporating weather data and information using Leopard, Phrogram or the WeatherBug programming interface.
"This national contest was created in order to inspire and engage students in computer science and programming," said Chris Sloop, chief technology officer at WeatherBug. "We really want students of all ages to get involved and to have a good time designing their projects. Using these tools, students will recognize how easy and fun programming can be no matter how old or how much experience they may have already."
Designed for students with basic, intermediate and advanced computer knowledge, each new programming tool gives students´ access to WeatherBug´s live data and allows users to develop an application that fits their specific needs and/or curriculum.
?The Leopard programming language makes it easy for beginners to get started with creating their own computer software. While the tool has been developed for use by the educational and hobbyist markets, professional developers have also responded to Leopard´s ease of use and power to aid the development of great applications in a very short amount of time.
?Phrogram users can learn modern computer science through a graphically rich, plain-language, and intuitive approach to coding, debugging and compiling programs. Phrogram´s development environment is ideal for educational use from middle school through college. Phrogram helps develop math and science skills and sharpens the user´s problem-solving, critical-thinking and analytical abilities.
?WeatherBug´s Application Programming Interface (API) is designed for more advanced users. With this tool, users can develop an application beyond the basic weather conditions. The WeatherBug API integrates severe weather alerts, daily forecasts, U.S. weather camera images and international weather data.
"Students of all ages can use these programming tools to develop their own applications while incorporating data from the national network of WeatherBug Tracking Stations and weather sensors, such as live temperature, wind speed, radar maps and satellite images. It´s a great way for students to incorporate what they learn in the classroom with new technology, such as the web-based widgets and gadgets which are so popular right now," said Frank McCathran, manager of education at WeatherBug. "The same data the students have access to in the classrooms is also used by the National Weather Service and by millions of consumers every day. These new tools are another example of how WeatherBug is putting the power of weather into students´ hands!"
National Online Science and Programming Fair
Each student-designed program will be submitted online and displayed on the Official Contest Web site to motivate and encourage other peers to participate. The Grand prize winner will receive a new WeatherBug Tracking Station or Camera for their school. Additional prizes for the first and second place winners will be awarded to the students and to their schools.
To see complete rules and regulations and examples of student entries, visit the Official Contest Web site at http://weatherbugschools.com/07contest.htm . More information on the programming tools can also be found at the WeatherBug Programming Tools Download Page http://weather.weatherbug.com/labs.html .
About WeatherBug® Schools
WeatherBug Schools integrates live, local and national weather data and camera images into the classroom from a dense network of WeatherBug Tracking Stations located at more than 8,000 schools nationwide. These tracking stations provide live weather data that can be used in science, math, technology and geography lessons. The award-winning, web-based learning tool, WeatherBug Achieve, allows teachers to create customized learning activities based on current and historical weather information from schools nationwide that participate in the WeatherBug Schools Program.
WeatherBug ( http://www.weatherbug.com and http://www.weatherbugprofessional.com ) ensures that individuals, schools, businesses and government agencies receive the most precise live weather information, the most relevant weather reports, and the earliest weather warnings to safeguard property, lives and to plan with confidence. With 8,000 WeatherBug Tracking Stations and over 1,000 cameras primarily based at neighborhood schools and public safety facilities across the U.S., WeatherBug maintains the largest exclusive weather network in the world. The live, local weather conditions are delivered to millions of consumers via the Internet and mobile devices, more than 100 state and local government agencies including the National Weather Service, and to broadcast television stations, schools, and businesses. WeatherBug is a brand of AWS Convergence Technologies, Inc. ( www.aws.com)