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Weather: Can You Measure Wind?


Grade Range
Group Size
2-3 students
Active Time
65-80 minutes
Area of Science
Weather & Atmosphere
Key Concepts
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.

Learning Objectives


For the class:

Per group:

Prep Work

  • 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.
    A fan is standing on a table. A piece of tape is located on the table about 12 inches away from the fan. Image Credit: Svenja Lohner, Science Buddies / Science Buddies
    The testing station setup includes the fan and a piece of tape marking for the students where to place their anemometers.

    Since each fan is different, you will need to find the best spot in front of the fan for your students to test their anemometers. Follow the steps in the Explore video to build an anemometer. Hold it in front of the fan with the fan on the lowest setting. The anemometer's pencil tip should touch the table surface. Make sure the anemometer spins. Then, switch the fan to the highest setting; the anemometer should spin more quickly, but not too fast to count the rotations (no more than 2 rotations per second). You may need to move the anemometer side to side and/or front to back in front of the fan to find the best spot. Mark this spot with tape so students all test at the same location.

Prep Work ()

Engage (15 minutes)

Explore (45-60 minutes)

Reflect (5 minutes)



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