Weather: Can You Measure Wind?
Area of Science
Weather & Atmosphere
Wind, weather, measurements
Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
Video narration by Jennifer E Paz
Free for a limited time thanks to individual donors
Wind is a part of our everyday weather. Its strength can range from a soft breeze to a violent storm. In this lesson, students learn how to measure wind speed by building anemometers (wind speed meters) from paper cups and straws and experimenting with them.
- Understand what an anemometer is and what it measures.
- Determine the relationship between wind speed and how fast an anemometer rotates.
- Represent data in a bar graph.
- Explain how meteorologists use tools to gather weather data.
For the class:
- Variable-speed fan
- Single-hole punch (groups can share if needed)
- 3 oz paper cups (5)
- Straws (2)
- Sharpened pencil with eraser
- Student worksheet (one per student)
- Print out a worksheet for each student.
- Set up a building station for each student group. Each station needs the materials listed in the
Material section. Set up a testing station for the class as shown in the picture below. If you have more than one fan, multiple testing stations can be set up.
The testing station setup includes the fan and a piece of tape marking for the students where to place their anemometers.
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