Weather Science Experiments for Kids–Make Your Own Weather Instrument

We’re in for Some Weather–Make it Educational.

A homemade weather vane-weather science for children

Children can make their own science tools--weather vane

Whether Hurricane Irene comes to Connecticut or not, a hurricane is always a serious weather for many even if it’s just from the showers and milder winds as it dissipates or moves by. Sounds like an excellent time to practice some science before school starts. Science projects with weather are not hard and will certainly engage your children in science and help them become more aware of hurricanes as a current event topic. There are a few things to pay attention to when it comes to weather: Wind speed and direction, the amount of rainfall, the humidity, and the atmospheric pressure. To tell the direction of the wind, we need a weather vane. A vane requires a thin, vertical surface that can move with the wind. Materials:

  • A straw
  • A pin
  • A pencil
  • A bead (optional)
  • A piece of cardboard
  • Something to stand the pencil is (I used a tinker toy block, but a thread spool or just putting it in a large mound of clay, or a jar filled with sand, or rice)
  • Scissors

This project is simple and works. There is something to do for even the littlest hands (even if it’s just assembling by placing the cardboard into the straw).

  1. Cut the cardboard into a trapezoid shape (really, most any shape will do, so the kids don’t have to be perfect).
  2. Cut a slit in the end of the straw (this is where the index card goes–check the drawing)

    The slit for the cardboard and the hole for the pin.

  3. Use the pin to poke a hole through the middle of the straw. The pin hole has to be the same way through the straw as the slit (like in the drawing). Wiggle the pin to make the hole a little bigger so the straw moves easily around the pin.
  4. Insert the index card into the slit in the straw. It will stay well enough.
  5. Put the straw on the pin and then put the bead on the pin (this helps the straw spin better, but it’s not needed).

    How to put the straw and bead on the pin.

  6. Stick the pin into the eraser of the pencil.
  7. Place the pencil in a stand.
  8. Put the whole thing in a windy location to see which direction the wind is blowing!
  9. Take it in when it starts to rain–the index card just isn’t going to hold up.
Categories: General

2 Responses

  1. Kim McNeill says:

    Don, that is a very in-depth site! Lots of information.

  2. Don says:

    A great hurricane site is