What an amazing summer we had – blue skies all day every day! We intended to get out with this activity with our FabLab clubs, but amazingly for Britain there were no clouds to be seen! Now it’s a perfect time to get out with the class for some scientific enquiry work. As well as covering practical scientific methods, processes and skills, these activities will also relate to the Seasonal Changes POS in KS1, with the added bonus of some Geography for KS2!
Metlink.org has some great ideas for weather related fieldwork. We particularly like the cloud mirror, or nephoscope, which allows children to measure wind direction (the direction the wind is coming from). All you need for this activity are some small classroom mirrors, a compass and some clouds!
Before the activity, you may want to ask children how they would find out which direction the wind is coming from and to try out their ideas. Bubbles, balloons, scrap paper …. licking a finger and holding it up?
Wind at ground level can be deceptive because hills and buildings can act as obstacles, causing it to swirl. Clouds are therefore a much more accurate indicator. Instructions for a nethoscope are set out simply and clearly at:
Have a look at a weather forecast for the week ahead, or a weather map. Can the children find out which wind is likely to bring warm weather? Why was last winter’s cold weather called ‘The Beast from the East?’. Carol Kirkwood watch out, a generation of budding meteorologists may soon be after your job!