Nose up high in the sky – Observing and measuring weather conditions

Brief description

In this set of three activities, students will learn how their senses and instruments can be used to describe and measure weather conditions. As an introductory activity, students will analyse local proverbs related to the weather. Then, they will use their senses to make weather observations and to learn how to describe the weather. Students will also build a small meteorological station and take weather measurements of rain, wind speed and air temperature. 

Subject Geography, Mathematics, Science

Learning Objectives
• Identify the weather elements (wind, temperature, precipitation)
• Observe and record weather conditions
• Identify local weather processes
• Learn that satellites, computers and scientific instruments are used to make weather forecasts
• Learn how to take weather measurements • Represent and interpret data
Age range
8 – 10 years old
Time
approximately 30 minutes per activity
Resource available in:
Activity 1: Talking about the weather
In this activity, pupils will be introduced to the topic by analysing some local proverbs related to the weather. Pupils will discuss the reasoning behind the proverbs with empirical knowledge.
Equipment

• Printed student worksheet for each pupil
• A list of local proverbs related to the weather
• Information sources, such as the internet or an encyclopedia

Activity 2: Sensing the weather
In this activity, pupils will make sensory weather observations to learn how to describe weather conditions. They will conclude that to describe weather we can use wind, rain, temperature and clouds. 
Equipment
  • Thermometer
  • Pupil activity sheet
  • Calculator

Did you know?

For thousands of years, humans have looked up to the skies trying to predict what the weather might bring. Nowadays, we can get a weather forecast anytime! Where do all the data that are used to predict the weather come from? There are numerous satellites that provide us the most useful data for weather forecasting. They continuously observe the Earth and communicate what they see back to our planet. The analysis of that data combined with the information obtained from meteorological stations here on Earth allows meteorologists to predict the weather.

Activity 3: Build your weather station
In this activity, students will make weather measurements with their own weather station. They will use a thermometer to measure air temperature. They will build an anemometer to measure the wind speed and a rain gauge to measure how much rain has fallen. This activity is split in three exercises.
Equipment

Exercise 1 – Measuring air temperature

• Thermometer
• Weather diary and printed students worksheet

Exercise 2 – Measuring wind speed

• 5 plastic cups (per group)
• 1 straw
• 3 wooden sticks
• Weather diary and students worksheet

Exercise 3 – Measuring rain

• Plastic bottle (1,5l – 2l)
• Ruler
• Paper clips
• Marker
• Pebbles
• Weather diary and students worksheet

Did you know?

While the weather can change over a few hours, climate is measured over many years. Scientists are worried about the climate changes induced by us on our planet that are responsible for global warming. A large team of scientists works in the ESA Climate Change Initiative to understand what influences the changes in our climate and to identify ways to lessen them. You can also make a difference, for example, by walking or using your bike instead getting a ride in a car and by recycling paper, plastic, glass and aluminum. 

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