Weather

Michelle Berry
South Division, Ottawa, Ontario
Canada


Here are some hands on ideas to teach the girls about weather and also about science.

Contents

Making Clouds and Fog
Making Rain
Making a Rain Gauge
Making a Rainbow
Making Thunder
Making a Tornado
Proving Temperatures Vary in Different Locations
Proving Heat Rises
Animal Weather Lore
Weather Lore



Making Clouds and Fog

Clouds are formed when water vapour comes into contact with something cold and thus condenses. Water vapour usually only condenses on a surface, in the atmosphere, it is on tiny particles of dust, salt, sulfate etc which are in the air.

In the winter, when you exhale the warm air from your body which is filled with water droplets comes into contact with the cold winter air and condenses and forms a mini cloud.

When you take a hot shower in the winter, the hot steam from the shower comes into contact with the colder air in the house and condenses thus forming fog or clouds.

Equipment:

Instructions

  1. Fill the metal pan with the ice cubes and let it sit about 10-15 minutes so it is very cold.
  2. Fill large jar with boiling water.
  3. Hold the metal pan just above the top of the jar and watch the cloud form.


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Making Rain

Water droplets in clouds stick together and get heavier and heavier as more and more water droplets join until they are finally heavy enough that they start to fall with gravity.

If you look at a mirror after taking a shower, at first it is fogged up but as the water droplets on the mirror start to merge with each other, they become heavier and heavier until the water starts to run just like rain.

Equipment:

Instructions

  1. Place a hand mirror into a freezer for an hour.
  2. Take it out and blow on it until it fogs. Continue until water droplets merge and run down the mirror. - RAIN

You can also do the same experiment as for clouds but place the metal ice pan directly on top of the jar and then looking through the jar, watch the water drip from the top of the metal pan.

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Making a Rain Gauge

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Tape the ruler to the outside of the glass making sure that the first mark on the ruler sits opposite the inside bottom of the glass.
  2. Place the glass outside in an open, unsheltered area.
  3. After a rainfall, place the glass or jar on a flat surface at eye level and read off how much rain fell.
  4. Empty and place outside again.


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Making a Rainbow

A rainbow is formed when light is broken up into its individual colours by reflecting and refracting inside a water droplet.

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Fill the glass bowl with water.
  2. Place the hand mirror in the bowl at about a 45 degree angle with the side and bottom of the bowl.
  3. Shine a flashlight on the mirror and watch for the formation of the rainbow on the wall opposite where the bowl is placed.


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Making Thunder

Thunder is produced when warm air rises into the atmosphere and causes the colder air to warm up. The sound is the sound of air expanding.

Thunder on a smaller scale can be made by opening a pop can. The contents of the can are under pressure and expand out when the can is open.

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Proving Temperatures Vary in Different Locations

Heat comes from the sun warming objects and then from that

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Using only four section of the vegetable tray place one of the following in each section.
  2. Place a thermometer in each section.
  3. Position the light to shine directly over the tray.
  4. Let it sit for about 20 minutes and then read the temperatures for each section.
  5. Note the varying temperatures based on the content of the section (i.e. water is 2 to 3 cooler than concrete etc.)


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Making Tornadoes

Equipment:

Instructions

  1. Fill the glass or jar with the carbonated water.
  2. Add the spoonful of table salt to the glass or jar.
  3. Stir rapidly in circular motions and then remove the spoon.
  4. Watch the salt swirling around in the glass in the shape of a tornado.


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Proving Heat Rises

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Fill the coffee cup with boiling water.
  2. Add a couple of drops of food colouring to the water and stir.
  3. Secure the saran wrap over the top of the coffee cup using the elastic band. Make sure it is secure.
  4. Place the coffee cup inside the glass jug.
  5. Fill the jug with cold water.
  6. Using the end of the scissors, poke a hole in the saran wrap.
  7. Watch the hot water (food coloured water) rise to the top of the jug.


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Animal Lore

Groundhog Day was also known as Candlemas Day. During the medieval period in European history the proverb was:

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another fight;
But if Candlemas Day brings clouds and rain,
Winter is gone and won't come again.

If the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2
there will be six weeks more of bad weather.

If squirrels are seen gathering nuts more actively than usual, it will be a hard winter.
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Weather Lore

All false of course

A rainbow in the morning
Is the shepherd's warning.
A rainbow at night
Is the shepherd's delight.

Rainbow to windward,
Foul fall the day.
Rainbow to leeward,
Damp runs away.

Evening red an morning gray,
Help the traveler on his way;
Evening gray and morning red
Bring down rain upon his head.

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.
Red sky at night, sailors delight.

When dew is on the grass, rain will never come to pass.

A "wet" moon is followed by rain.

The farther the sight, the nearer the rain.

The higher the clouds, the finer the weather.

Yellow sunset means wind. Pale yellow sunset means rain.

When the wind is in the east,
It's fit for neither man nor beast.

Smoke drifting lazily close to the ground,
Tells us that rain is coming around.

If it rains before seven,
it will clear before eleven.

When the wind's before the rain,
soon you make sail again;
When the rain's before the wind,
sheets and halyards mind.


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