The NFHS Foundation has announced a grant program to distribute 5,000 wet bulb globe thermometers to high schools across the country. The $1.5 million program will provide schools with an important tool for minimizing heat-related illness during outdoor activities.
Wet bulb globe thermometers measure the heat stress in direct sunlight, accounting for temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover. High schools can use the thermometer’s reading to help determine if the weather is appropriate to hold outdoor activities.
“The mission of the NFHS Foundation is, in part, to fund research and programs for risk minimization, and this program certainly satisfies that,” NFHS Chief Operating Officer Davis Whitfield said. “This program is a direct distribution to schools to help ensure the health and safety of students.”
An initial grant was approved by the NFHS Foundation Board of Directors last fall of $450,000, but demand for the thermometers was so high that an additional distribution was approved in January to cover the purchase of 5,000 units. Approximately 2,500 thermometers will be distributed in April, with the remainder to be delivered to schools in time for late-summer workouts. The NFHS will work with its member state associations to distribute the thermometers to schools.
“The NFHS Foundation Board of Directors unanimously supported these additional funds. We all felt it will more immediately assist our member schools to proactively reduce risk for our students,” said Billy Strickland, NFHS Foundation Board of Directors president and executive director of the Alaska School Activities Association.
Each Kestrel-made thermometer will be calibrated by geographic zone and come with a tripod and Bluetooth capability for school administrators to access the information via phone. The NFHS will also produce and provide a tutorial video – through the NFHS Learning Center – on how to operate the thermometers.