We are learning about the weather for school right now. And since we have been having some great weather for learning about weather, every day is a different season we thought it was a good time to plot and plan exactly what was happening in the lead up to Spring. So we built a couple of instruments and we are all set for a week of observation next week.
- Observe the weather: You need to take a look at your weather right now and consider what you will need to make a weather station. This is our weather, thanks to wunderground.com, and a view of our beach so that you can see our weather conditions… (If the picture is black with a sprinkling of lights, that’s because it is nighttime over here… look again in a couple of hours and you will see our daytime weather!!!)
All weather stations need certain instruments and we will make:
- An Anemometer.
- A Wind Vane.
- A Thermometer.
- A Barometer.
- A Rain Gauge.
- A Weather Chart.
- You will need four plastic cups, a paper plate, a skewer, a cotton reel and some tape.
- Decorate your cups, make sure they are all different so that you can see them spinning around when you are done.
- Tape your cups onto a paper plate.
- Tape your cotton reel to the other side of the paper plate.
- Place your skewer into something firm, the ground, we used a tree stump.
- Place the cotton reel onto the skewer and let your anemometer spin in the wind.
- You will need some card, a square piece of paper, a skewer, a pen cap, some tape and a compass to set it up.
- Draw a large arrow shape on your card.
- Tape your pen lid to the arrow
- Decorate your arrow.
- Place compass points along the four sides of your piece of square paper.
- Use a lump of placticine to hold your skewer in place and slip your piece of paper onto the skewer as well.
- Set your compass up directed towards North and align your paper, with the compass points, with it. North aligned towards the north.
- Pop your pen lid onto the top of the skewer and your wind vane will spin around and align with the wind. You measure the wind from the direction it comes, so a south wind comes from the south.
- You will need a cool drink bottle, a straw, some plasticine, and a drop of food coloring.
- Fill the bottle with water and add a drop of food coloring to the water.
- Place straw into the bottle and carefully seal the opening shut with the plasticine.
- Make sure your bottle of water is full enough for some of the water to go up the straw.
- Mark a line at the level of the water… that is the “temperature of your thermometer.”
- If you check your thermometer then the red water should rise slightly for warm weather and it should drop for cooler weather. We made our thermometer in the middle of the day and you can see that by the evening the temperature had dropped and the level of the water dropped with it.
- You will need a glass jar, a balloon, an elastic band, a straw, a piece of card and some tape.
- Cut the end of the balloon off.
- Stretch the balloon over the lid of the jar. And then pop the elastic band over that – you want it really airtight.
- Snip the end of the straw to make it nice and pointy.
- Tape the straw to the balloon.
- Tape the card to the jar and mark the level of the straw.
- As the weather changes, so will the height of the balloon and the straw will rise and fall against the line on the card. If the air pressure rises, the balloon is pressed down and the end of the straw is pushed up. So if your straw is above the line on your card then the air pressure is higher than on the day you made your barometer and you will have fairer weather. If the pointer is lower than the mark you made on the card then the air pressure is lower than on the day you made the barometer and your weather will be worse.
- You will need an empty soda bottle, some craft scissors, tape, a ruler and a marker.
- Carefully cut the bottom off a soda bottle, you may need to ask for adult help it can be really tricky.
- Cut the top off as well and turn the top upside down in into the bottom piece of the bottle.
- Put tape along the join of the pieces of soda bottle. Then measure with a ruler in cm or inch marks, depending where you are from, up the side of the bottle and your rain gauge is ready for some rain.
This is what we plan to observe:
- Cloud coverage: The block is split into eight, that makes it a little easier to observe. Is one eighth covered or three eighths or even eight eighths!
- Temperature: Our thermometer is a comparative thermometer and does measure the temperature in degrees. We will get our temperatures from the website.
- Wind Speed and Direction: We need to download this accurate data as well.
- Precipitation: What type and how much. Our precipitation is generally rain and we can measure the amount with our rain gauge.
- Pressure: A barometer measures air pressure and ours is a comparative barometer, so we will need to get the details with our other readings off the web.
Finally, what we can not observe for ourselves using our instruments we will get a reading from the Wunderground website. You can search for your own location in this site and using the information, from the nearest weather station, you can get great observational data.
These experiments for part of the Sonlight C Science Course and we used this book for a lot of the experiments:
That’s us… Have a fun weekend!!! For once we are hoping for wild weather!!!