Sunday, January 15, 2012

Make a Paper Cup Anemometer (Weather Tool)

An anemometer is a weather instrument. An anemometer measures the speed of the wind

If you are working on a weather unit with the kids you might want to make one of these cool paper cup anemometers.

  • safety goggles
  • 2 straws
  • 5 small (bathroom) paper cups
  • paper punch
  • small stapler or tape
  • pencil with eraser
  • push pin
  • recycled plastic container with lid (frosting, yogurt, etc.)
  • heavy weight to put in container (rocks/ pebbles/sand/clay)

Directions (Adult Supervision Required)
  • All participants should wear safety goggles.
  • Use a paper punch and in 4 of the cups punch a hole about a centimeter down from the rim.
  • In the 5th cup punch 4 evenly spaced holes about a centimeter down from the rim and also make a small hole in the bottom center of this cup.
  • Make a small hole in the center of the rim of the plastic container
  • Push a pencil through the center hole of the cup and also through the plastic cover of the container which will be the base of the anemometer.
  • If desired, add some weight (sand, rocks, etc.) into the container so the wind will not knock over the anemometer.
  • Slide one of the straws through the hole in one of the 4 cups that has only one hole in it. Bend the end of the straw that is inside the cup and tape or staple it to the inside of the cup.
  • Place the other end of the straw through two of the holes in the 5th cup. Then through the hole in one of the other cups.Also tape or staple the end of the straw to the inside of the cup.
  • Repeat the last 2 steps with the remaining 2 cups.
  • Make sure the 4 cups all have their open ends facing in the same direction (clockwise) around the center cup and pencil.
  • Push the push pin through the two straws where they overlap and then into the pencil eraser. 
  • Mark one of the cups with a marker! Use that cup as your starting point when measuring wind speed.
  • When the wind blows count how many times the marked cup goes by in one minute.
  • You may want to measure (count) and record the wind speed 2 or 3 times per day.
  • You could compare morning and afternoon wind speeds. Is the wind stronger in the morning or afternoon?
  • Compare different days. 
  • Make a graph with your data.
  Have fun learning about weather. 


  1. I will have to share this - I want to show another teacher - she is doing weather this month!

  2. Hey that is so good, i like it..
    keep posting new Gadgets...

  3. I like this variation too. There was one posted on Science Sunday this week that would probably get blown over in the wind, but this variation could be weighed down.

  4. Great and awesome post.It is very helpful.

  5. Super awesome idea. Might use it in Girl Scouts!



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