Sunday, January 8, 2012

Make an Anemometer (Weather Instrument)


Science and Math Activity

Here are directions to make a simple Anemometer that students can use to measure Wind Speed.

Directions found at Royal Meteorological Society, UK, and Explorit Science Center

  • ping pong ball (I found a package at my local supermarket.)
  • protractor
  • string or fishing line
  • tape
  • scissors
  • piece of strong cardboard (optional)
  • science journal/notebook

  • Stick the protractor to the piece of cardboard with the tape. Have the straight side on the top. (OPTIONAL STEP)
  • Cut a piece of string approximately 12 inches in length.
  • Tape one end of the string to the ping pong ball.
  • Tape the other end of the string to the center point of the protractor. (see picture above)
  • Hold the protractor so that it is upside down.
  • The fishing line/string should hang straight down past the 90 degree mark on the protractor.
  • Observe as the wind pushes the ping pong ball and string.
  • Record the angle measurement into a science or math journal/notebook.
  • Use the Table below to convert the angle measurement into a wind speed.

Degrees - Speed (mph)

  90    -      0
  86    -      5
  75    -    10
  59      15
  43       20
  40    -    21

Instead of making an anemometer, you could use THE BEAUFORT WIND FORCE SCALE to describe wind speed based on observable land (or sea) conditions. Click on the link below.

Enjoy learning about weather!


  1. Okay that is cool. I didn't know it was possible to make a homemade wind gauge, but I guess that shouldn't surprise me it is possible.

  2. I wish I had read this post earlier!! My son has been studying weather at school. We made a simple anemometer, but not one that we could gauge actual wind speed. We'll have to try your version!



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