Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wind Experiment, Simple Anemometer

Little J has been studying weather at school and worked with a small group to investigate wind. We continued his interest at home by checking out some on line resources and library books (listed below) and set up a simple wind experiment.
We made an anemometer, a simple device used to determine wind speed. Ours can simply tell us whether the wind is faster or slower than our last reading.

4 small paper cups
1 larger paper or plastic up
a pencil with an eraser end
2 straws
a push pin

We had all the supplies needed to make this project on hand.

Steps To Make a Simple Anemometer
  1. Mark one of the small cups so that you can identify the start/end of a rotation.  We used stickers.
  2. Tape the end of one straw to the back of a small paper cup and to the end of another cup turned in the opposite direction as seen above.
  3. Repeat step one with the second straw and set of cups.
  4. Now, crisscross the straws in their centers and tape (what we did) or staple them together.  Be sure the cups are facing the same direction.
  5. Insert a push pin through the intersection of the straws and secure to the eraser.
  6. Cup hole just large enough to slip the writing end of the pencil through and insert the pencil.
  7. Secure the large cup to something with enough weight to keep the device upright. 
  8. You may have to make adjustments to get it to spin easily.

We've had rain most of the week, so we've had to wait for a nice day.  Little J initially set the anemometer on our deck, but there was not enough wind to make it spin, so he tried the front stairs.  Perfect. 

He counted the rotations made by the device in one minute and marked it on a log that we set up for hourly readings. He did 4 readings and then graphed his results.  He could then compare if the wind was faster or slower at certain times.


On line resources
Brain Pop

The Kids Book of Weather Forecasting by Mark Breen and Kathleen Friedstad
Wind and Air Pressure by Alan Rodgers and Angella Streluk
Extreme Weather by H. Michael Mogil and Barbara G. Levine
Ask magazine March 2011


Linking to:  The Sunday Showcase, Science Sunday, Fun Sparks


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Ooh, I love it. Pinned it on my science board.

bgorden said...

What a COOL idea!!! You are so clever!
Beth =-)

My Boys' Teacher said...

Awesome! I pinned this :)

Christy Killoran said...

C will love this!

Mama Of Many Blessings said...

What a fun idea! One we will be doing in the future!

momandkiddo said...

This looks like a terrific project.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I love the cups you used - so cute!

Sherri said...

I love it!

Ticia said...

I think I might have to break down and create a meteorology board on pinterest with all of these cool posts like this.

Unknown said...

This looks so neat! I am going to pin so I remember to do this with my daughter.

Kim @ The Learning Hypothesis said...

Love this. Pinned it to try later!

Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas said...

perfect for our spring theme! I am pinning this for later!

Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas said...

BTW, Thanks for sharing on the Sunday Showcase - hope to see you this week.