A CIESE Realtime Data Project

Student Worksheet - Activity 1: Make a Weather Station

Name:_________________________ Date:___________________________

Student Worksheet - Activity 1: Make a Weather Station

Part 1: Introduction

  1. Make a Weather Learning Log: This ONLY applies if you will use the Weather Learning Log
    1. Write your name on the notebook (if you are working as a group, each member should put their name on it). As an optional activity, you can decorate the cover as well.
  3. Discuss and answer the following questions. Record your answers in your Journal.
    1. What do you think of when you hear the word "weather"?

    2. How does weather affect our daily lives? (Ex. what kinds of clothes do you wear, outdoor activities that you do, etc.)

    3. What kinds of things would you look for if you wanted to describe the weather of a particular day to someone else?

    4. What kinds of information are important to collect?

  5. Brainstorm designs for instruments that you could use to measure each of the following AND answer the corresponding questions:
    1. Temperature: What does temperature have to do with weather?

    2. Wind: How can you describe wind? Are there different types of wind? Can you measure how fast the wind is blowing and where its blowing to?

    3. Precipitation: Are there different types of precipitation?; How could rain be measured?

    4. Air pressure: What is air pressure? Why should we measure it? What does air pressure have to do with weather?

    5. Sky conditions:  Write a list of standardized terms to describe sky conditions (e.g. clear, partly cloudy, overcast with openings, overcast, etc.)

  6. Present: Each group should first design the class weather instruments.
    • Write the list of standardized sky condition terms for the class below:


Part 2: Make a Class Weather Station

  1. Build the following weather instruments in the order below. Directions are provided for each.
    1. Barometer (Air pressure)
    2. Rain Gauge (Precipitation)
    3. Thermometer (Temperature)
    4. Wind Vane (Wind Direction)
    5. Anemometer (Wind Speed)
  2. Practice with the Instruments: repeatedly test the instruments for accuracy.

  3. Record your measurements: Please follow the guidelines below.
    NOTE: If you are combining Activities 1 and 2, record your measurements in the column marked "Class Instruments" in the Current Conditions table.
    1. Temperature: ________________C
      (Use a commercial outdoor thermometer)
    2. Sky conditions: ___________________
      (Observe outside and use one of the standardized sky condition terms. For example, clear, partly cloudy, overcast with openings, overcast, etc.)
    3. Wind: _______________
      (calm, light, etc.)
    4. Wind Direction: ________________
      (N, NW, W, SW, etc.)
    5. Wind Speed: ________________
      (how many times the anemometer spun)
    6. Precipitation Type: ____________
      (at data collection time - rain, drizzle, snow, none, etc.)
    7. Precipitation Amount: __________ mm
      (in last 24 hours)
    8. Air Pressure: ______________ units
      (record your finding in the units marked on your class barometer)

Homework (optional)

  1. Do you think the weather instruments you made are as accurate as those used by professional meteorologists? Why or why not?

  2. How could you make them more accurate?

  3. If you have Internet access, select and print one of the following satellite maps listed on the Activity 1 web page and answer the questions below:
    • What do you see in the map?

    • Do the current weather conditions in your city match up to what you see on the satellite map?

    • How could you use a satellite map to predict weather?