(Editor's Note: Adam Scott is spending a week with the summit weather crew at Mt. Washington.)
Being an eighth grade science teacher at Cole Middle School, I have been waiting all year to spend a week on the highest peak in New England. Coming from a state that is basically at sea level (our highest point is a hill at 812 feet above sea level), I am continually amazed at the beauty, size, and grandeur of this spectacular mountain range.
Spending time with the amazing summit crew is both a personal and professional privilege. With each passing day, I have had the pleasure of watching these dedicated individuals studying weather phenomenon on Mt. Washington, a peak that carries the slogan, “Home of the World’s Worst Weather.” Although we have not had any weather that can rival historical storms of the past, we have had a little bit of everything over the last few days. From wispy clouds to pea soup fog, drizzle turning to heavier rain, moderate gusty winds dropping to windless sunny days and to beautiful clear nights, I have had the opportunity to witness the ever-changing weather conditions on the summit. I have spent time in the wee hours of the morning out on the deck assisting the meteorologists in recording weather data and have watched some of the most beautiful sunsets found anywhere on the planet. Saturday evening even produced a beautiful light show as we could easily see fireworks from a distant New Hampshire town.
So, why did I choose to spend a week this summer on Mt. Washington? This is an easy question to answer ... the kids at Cole. Witnessing the weather up here, first hand, is why I wanted to spend a week in this historic weather observatory. I feel that I am able to share so much with my students of things that I experienced, instead of things that we read about or see in a video. I will have the pleasure of telling them about this amazing summit crew and the important work that they do. An image on a radar screen may tell you that a storm is approaching ... looking out the weather station windows to SEE the actual cloud wall approaching over Mt. Clay, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Jefferson is something that I will never forget.
The summit of Mt. Washington is a spectacular place to visit, study, and live. I am honored to have had the opportunity to spend a week here. And because of that, I will have the opportunity to do the same one week this winter. My hope is to be able to teach the students at Cole directly from the mountain. I think that they may get the biggest laugh in seeing me trying to stand in a 100 mph wind as it whips across the observation deck.
I am glad to say that my surgically-repaired right knee has held up rather nicely while hiking in this unforgiving terrain. (Thank you Dr. Arcand!!!) I have also carried, in my pack, a card that the students sent me last school year while I was home recovering from surgery.
The new school year is a little over a month away. I can’t wait to tell my kids about my summer vacation!!!!
Adam Scott, Grade 8 Science Teacher at Cole Middle School