I’m surely not the only one who plays the “I don’t know”/”God makes it happen” card when faced with the “where does the wind come from” question? Oh cringe, I know, such a cop out, but no longer! No, because now I know! I found a fabulous how to make a wind meter article, filled with clearly explained information on wind, and how it works.
You can find the article at Scientific American HERE.
There’s plenty of problem solving, measuring and spatial awareness going on whilst you making these (and the dinosaurs and bikes they also inspired my daughter to make).
Plus once you’ve made them you can:
• Calculate RPM (as per the article)
• Calculate actual wind speed (again in the article, no point me reinventing the wheel but if you need a hand shout out!)
• Record and display data.
A table either measuring wind speed in various locations - turn it into a scientific write up by having a hypothesis etc
A table or graph of daily wind speed the same location over a week- why not make your own rain gauge and barometer, and use a thermometer to record lots of weather data. Compare your results with local weather reports.
Some tips from a (now) veteran wind meter maker:
• Unless your straws are way longer than mine your not going to be able to poke them all the way through to the edge of your cup. Using 4 straws was too flimsy and did not spin well.
We ended up still using 2 straws to cross at the centre but folding down about 1.5cm of the end of each straw and stapling it to the inside of the cup near where we poked it through.
• Do not use cheap pencils, the erasers split when you poke the pin through. Cheap cups, fine, cheap pencils, beware.
• Measuring equal distances, and ensuring the cups are equal height may help your wind meter spin more effectively.
• Mark the bottom of ONE cup so you can count each rotation
And that's it. Simple, fun, hands on mathy goodness!