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Weather station opens at Discovery Station

June 16, 2009|By ASHLEY REID

HAGERSTOWN -- "Weather affects everyone, everyone talks about the weather, so why not have an exhibit?" B. Marie Byers said Tuesday at the opening ceremony for Discovery Station at Hagerstown Inc.'s new weather station.

Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II, City Council members and supporters of Discovery Station were on hand for the opening of the Lou Scally Weather Station.

Byers, president of the board of directors for Discovery Station, said the idea for a weather station came up in a conversation with Scally, a local TV weatherman and radio personality.

"Lou came up to me and said the Discovery Station should have a weather station," Byers said.

Byers said grant money funded the project, which took two years to get going.

The weather station gives information on time zones, and the high and low temperatures for the day. It also includes earth displays and historic weather instruments dating to 1940.

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Byers said the station touches the past, as well as the future.

Scally said he was honored to have the weather station named after him. He views the weather station as a way to promote the center through the radio station.

"I told Marie we'll put a weather station there so I could refer to it when announcing the current highs for the day," said Scally. "It also provided them with another science exhibit."

The weather station updates itself and archives all of its records.

"All of the data in the weather station is saved and opened to the public so they can go back and look at the records for any day at any time," Scally said.

Scally said Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer brought everything together.

Byers noted that Keefer installed all of the weather instruments on the roof of the building, recommended what to purchase and made sure everything functioned properly.

Scally and Byers praised Keefer for his hard work. He was unable to attend the ceremony because he had a prior engagement.

Scally emphasized the important role the science exhibit can play in educating children.

"America lags behind in math and science, so having more science exhibits will help us catch up," Scally said.

Bruchey commended Discovery Station for its efforts and its role in the community.

"Schoolchildren come here in bus loads, and it's an attraction that doesn't cost an arm and a leg," Bruchey said.

Deborah Everhart, the city's director of economic development, said Discovery Station is important to the city.

"It's an anchor destination for downtown and an important destination for tourists," Everhart said.

Byers described Discovery Station as a hands-on place that engages people of all ages.

"It's a magical place," Byers said.

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