Meteorology Science Fair Project: Create Your Own Weather Center
While the purpose of science fair projects is to let students have fun while they learn, they always feel ecstatic if they’re able to create something that impresses everyone. What better way to do this than stepping into the realm of meteorological sciences? For students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades, the following projects have consistently proven to turn heads.
Plastic drinking straws (clear)
Wide-base jar with smaller mouth
Pencil with eraser
Science Fair Thermometer
Disposable water bottle
Any of these weather devices can be used independently for its own science fair project or combined for a more impressive project. Materials listed above under the General heading above are used for more than just one of the following devices.
Science Fair Barometer
1. Cut off bottom half of balloon. Tightly stretch the remaining portion over the entirety of the jar mouth. Balloon should be tight enough so that it’s flat across the jar mouth. Secure in place with a rubber band.
2. Use your fingers to flatten about an inch of a drinking straw at one end. Make a diagonal cut on the flattened end so that it has a sharp point at the end.
3. Apply rubber cement in a small line from the center of the stretched balloon to the jar mouth edge. Apply the unflattened end of the straw to the rubber cement. The majority of the sharpened end of the straw should now be hanging straight off the jar in a perpendicular fashion. Ensure that a minimum of 6 inches of the straw is hanging off the jar.
4. Draw seven separate columns on graph paper. Label each column with a day of the week. Outside of your home in a sheltered area, place the barometer on a table that is up against a wall. Affix the graph paper against this wall, and place the pointed end of the straw very close to the paper.
5. Use a permanent marker to mark where the sharp end of the straw is pointing on the graph paper for every day. Make these marks at similar times every day, and take note of the weather throughout the day.
Science Fair Weather Vane
1. Cut a 2-inch trapezoid shape from an index card. Cut a 1-inch slit on one end of a drinking straw. Slide this slit in the straw onto the smaller end of the trapezoid — directly in its center. This will end up looking like an arrow.
2. Insert straight pin into straw about 2 inches from the trapezoid index portion.
3. Label a piece of paper North, South, East and West as they would be labeled on a map.
4. Press a straight pin down into a pencil’s eraser. Take the labeled paper outside, and use a compass to orient it correctly. Push tip of pencil down into a ball of modeling clay and place in center of paper.
Science Fair Thermometer
1. Put three to four drops of food coloring in a water bottle. Fill bottle at least halfway full with room temperature water.
2. Insert 2 inches of a drinking straw into the water bottle. Use modeling clay to form a tight seal in the bottle’s opening — holding the straw stationary. You’ll know the seal is tight enough when colored water rises in the straw.
3. Mark the current level where the water reaches in the straw. Test the thermometer by placing the water bottle into bowls of ice water and hot water.
Science Fair Project Questions
- Does high barometric pressure lead to bad weather? (It typically indicates fair weather.)
- Are temperature changes correlated to barometric pressure changes?
- Can wind direction help predict impending bad weather?
- Can different substances affect thermometer change speed? (ie. using 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol/water).