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Aug 9, 2017

Weather & Atmosphere Earth Science STEM Challenges!

Hey Teacher Friends,

Right now I'm in the process of creating a series of STEM projects for students who are studying Earth Science.. The first unit I'm focusing on is Weather and the Atmosphere! After doing a little research, I came up with two great STEM projects that are simple enough to create in the classroom. Initially I originally thought these projects might be TOO simple for 4th-6th grade, but they are much more difficult to pull off than they appear!

STEM Activity #1: Anemometer Challenge! 

An anemometer is an instrument that is used to measure wind speed. Some anemometer devices can also measure the wind direction.
A cup anemometer has four cups connected to horizontal arms that spin on a vertical pole. The design was later mortified to three cups because it responded more quickly to gusts of wind and had less errors in the reading. 
A well designed anemometer should be able to respond quickly to changes in wind speed. It should also be able to detect a wide range of wind speeds. 

Here's the challenge: Using a list of supplies, students must design an anemometer that accurately measures wind speed. They must be able to measure how many spins the device makes per minute by marking one of the revolving cups.  They have one hour to complete this challenge. (time testing their anemometer does not count towards the hour).  In order to test, the anemometer should be placed outside on a windy day or can be tested with a fan.  ***Check out the link below for more information about the challenge. 

STEM Activity #2: Barometer Challenge! 

A barometer is an instrument that measures pressure in the atmosphere. They were once commonly used in ships, aircrafts, and even households around the world. There are several different types of barometers, such as the water-based barometer, the mercury barometer, and the aneroid barometer.  

Here's the challenge: Using a list of supplies, students must design a type of barometer that measures changes in the atmospheric pressure. Their design must have a needle that measures an increase or decrease in air pressure. Students must use the items listed below and they are not allowed to add items to the list. If they test it and it does not work properly, they have two more attempts to fix their design. They have one hour to design their barometer. (time testing their barometer does not count towards the hour).  In order to test, the barometer should be placed outside or by a window.


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