Make and Use a Rain Gauge to Measure
Students can use tap water to practice reading the measurement of the rain gauge
in the classroom. They will be taking measurements to the nearest 1/4" (5mm). If
there is a safe spot outside, the students can leave the gauge outside and take
a reading after each rainfall, remembering to empty the jar after each reading.
If the gauge can't be left outside, the students should place it outside on each
(if you already have a rain gauge, you can skip to the
Use a Rain Gauge to measure Precipitation)
- Clear plastic ruler
- Cylinder shaped clear jar (e.g. an olive jar)
- Rubber band
- Transparent tape
- Remove the jar's label.
- Attach the ruler to the outside of the jar with the rubber band; make
sure that the bottom edge of the ruler is even with the bottom of the jar.
Or secure the ruler inside the jar so it is standing vertically with the end
at the base of the jar/bottle. Tape the ruler in place so the numbers can be
read from the outside of the jar/bottle.
Note: As an alternative to a ruler, you can use a permanent
marker to mark the inches/centimeters on clear tape affixed vertically to
the outside of the jar/bottle beginning at the base to the outside of the
jar/bottle. Cover the marks with a second piece of clear waterproof tape.
- Place the funnel in the top of the jar. The top end of the funnel should
cover the entire mouth of the jar.
- If you would like, you can practice filling the jar with water and
measuring the total amount.
Use a Rain Gauge to measure
- Put the jar out in the rain. Note: the rain gauge should not be put it
near or under trees or too close to buildings which may block the rain.
- Read the ruler to determine how much rain was collected.
- Empty the jar after each use.
Copyright © 2007 Stevens Institute of Technology,
Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) All Rights Reserved.