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For Release: Feb. 5, 1998

Catherine Watson
(757) 864-6122

Release No. 98-007

St. Olav Videregående Skole Students Observe Clouds for NASA

During the school day, most teachers prefer that students keep their heads in the classroom. At St. Olav Videregående Skole in Stavanger, however, teachers are encouraging their students to keep their heads in the clouds.

Students at St. Olav are learning to observe clouds as part of a NASA global cloud measuring project. The Students' Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) project is part of a new satellite experiment developed by researchers at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., USA.

The St. Olav students are learning how to observe the clouds over their school and send their observations to a NASA computer in the United States. The students' observations will initially be compared to those from a weather satellite orbiting the Earth. After the students have perfected their cloud observing techniques, they will make cloud observations that NASA can compare to a new satellite instrument. NASA Langley researchers hope to train students worldwide to observe clouds for the project. There are 64 schools involved in the project, including schools in four European countries.

The new NASA satellite instrument, the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES), will provide global data on the Earth's clouds and energy budget to help determine what effect(s) clouds have on possible global warming. CERES, which was launched into space Nov. 27, is part of NASA's Earth Science research program.

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