Students will learn about wind and create an anemometer - an instrument that measures wind speed.
Students can bring in newspapers with daily weather maps and forecasts. They can also check weather Web sites for current wind readings and forecasts.
Check school and local libraries for books on weather.
Check district media centers for videos about weather. There are also commercial weather videos available.
Utah's Weather Guide, by Dan Pope and Clayton Brough (1997 News4Utah)
Wind is one of the elements of weather. It is the movement of air that can be felt against our faces and bodies. We can see the effect of wind by the movement of objects. The direction, temperature, and speed of wind can help us predict changes in the weather.
Wind is the result of pressure differences in the atmosphere. This is why the weather people on TV care so much about high and low pressure systems.
A wind vane is an instrument that tells the direction the wind is moving.
Along with wind direction, meteorologists measure wind speed. Wind speed is a measure of how fast the air is moving. It is measured using an instrument called an anemometer. As the spinning cups of an anemometer turn, the speed of the wind is determined. Knowing wind speed and air pressure helps meteorologists forecast when an approaching storm will arrive or how long the weather in an area will remain.
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills.
2. Manifest Scientific Attitudes and Interests
3. Understand Science Concepts and Principles
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning.
Invitation to Learn
Read a riddle or a poem about the wind. (Example: This was the second riddle that Gollum asked Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. "Voiceless it cries, Wingless flutters, Toothless bites, Mouthless mutters." If he doesn't know the answer Gollum will eat him. The answer is "the wind.")
Your anemometer is ready to use. Your anemometer is useful because it rotates with the wind. Try taking it somewhere that is windy so you can watch it spin. A fan can be used indoors if it is not windy enough outside to see if it works. Count how many revolutions it makes in one minute. Record your observations in your science journal. Include a description of how an anemometer works and is used by weather forecasters.
Students with Internet connections at home can be asked to visit weather Web sites. They can also be assigned to watch the evening weather forecast on one of the television news channels. They could demonstrate information about wind as part of a school science fair. Some families may want to purchase an anemometer for home use.