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Grade Range
3rd
Group Size
2-3 students
Active Time
40 minutes
Total Time
40 minutes
Area of Science
Weather & Atmosphere
Key Concepts
Wind, speed, measurements
Learning Objectives
  • Understand what an anemometer is and what it measures
  • Understand the relationship between wind speed and how fast an anemometer rotates

Overview

Help the budding meteorologists in your classroom learn how to measure wind speed by building their own anemometers (wind speed meters) with paper cups and straws. Then do a simple experiment in which students change the "wind" speed using a fan and measure how fast their anemometer spins.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • 3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations. Make predictions about what would happen if a variable changes.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Represent data in tables and various graphical displays (bar graphs and pictographs) to reveal patterns that indicate relationships.
ESS2.D: Weather and Climate. Scientists record patterns of the weather across different times and areas so that they can make predictions about what kind of weather might happen next.
Patterns. Patterns of change can be used to make predictions.

Credits

Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies

Materials


Materials to build an anemometer

For the entire class:

  • Variable-speed fan
  • Single-hole punches to share
  • Stopwatch
  • Markers

For each group of students:

  • 3 oz paper cups (5)
  • Straws (2)
  • Pushpin
  • Sharpened pencil with eraser

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Grade Range
3rd
Group Size
2-3 students
Active Time
40 minutes
Total Time
40 minutes
Area of Science
Weather & Atmosphere
Key Concepts
Wind, speed, measurements
Learning Objectives
  • Understand what an anemometer is and what it measures
  • Understand the relationship between wind speed and how fast an anemometer rotates

Class Materials