DIY Versus Professionalby: Miriam Munck and Donna Rainboth

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Weather, with its built-in atmospheric laboratory, is a natural source of inquiry. The ever-changing nature of weather provides a constant source of questions to investigate and connects to a multitude of physical science concepts. The question, “How accurate are homemade weather instruments in measuring air pressure, rainfall, wind speed and direction?” led fourth- and fifth-grade students to collect and record data, to compare and contrast their data with local weather data, to learn the fundamentals of how weather instruments work, and to form conclusions about weather and climate.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (3)
  • on Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:53 PM

In this article, students are asked how accurate homemade weather instruments are. They make their own weather instruments and record their daily readings. Students bring in weather articles from the newspaper and are provided with daily forecasts. Data is collected for about 2 weeks before students are asked to answer the question.


  • on Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:53 AM

After a weather walk, students made their own weather equipment and built a weather station. Using their weather station these same students took daily weather readings at their school. Students were able to ask questions they could answer in this inquiry type of activity. Making and using equipment they built added more interest in what they were doing. A NSTA website was used for instruction on building the equipment.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:41 PM

This article describes an experience where students made homemade weather instruments and compared their accuracy to professional instrument readings. This experience would be nice complement to a weather unit but should not replace students making forecasts using weather data as well.

Kate Geer  (Louisville, CO)
Kate Geer (Louisville, CO)

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