Sunday 5 August 2018

Project 45: The Weather

As the heatwave continues we decided to look a bit more closely at the topic of the weather this week. As we don't particularly watch live TV we had to start by watching a weather forecast, before going on to look at the water cycle, the climate, and climate change.

There are a wide range of videos available about the weather, from the History of the Met Office to Why we love the Shipping Forecast, as well as videos on different climates, climate change, and why we have different seasons.

The nice thing about the weather is there are also plenty of little experiments that you can do.We had bought a simple weather station in Maplin's closing down sale earlier in the year and took measurements throughout the week, and plan to do so on a weekly basis over the year to see how the weather changes.
Weather Station
It's a cheap weather station (currently £10.73 on Amazon) and you get what you pay for. The plant on the box is a bit misleading, as neither it nor the pictured bottle are part of the kit, and the wind speed meter is purely to help you gauge whether the wind is calm, light, breezy or strong, rather than a proper anemometer. Nonetheless, it's good enough for a 5 yr old learning a bit more about the weather.

To accompany the video on the water cycle from the Met Office, we also did the "It's raining inside" experiment from Science Projects: Weather. It's a simple experiment with some very hot water in a jug and a bag of ice resting on top. As the water vapour hits the bag it condenses and 'rains' back down.

Making rain inside

Science Projects: Weather has just ten experiments in total, and if I had a criticism it would be that it is a bit wordy, but if your kids are a bit older the additional information and suggested further reading would probably be useful.

We used the cloud spotting guide from the Met office to spot different types of cloud when we were out and about; although it's actually quite difficult for the novice spotter to distinguish between  a cirrocumulus and an altocumulus, and I'm not convinced we always got it right!

The weather also provides plenty of craft opportunities. Solomon created a picture of his favourite type of weather, and Monica created a weather dial to keep track of the day's weather.
Weather crafts

Next week's project: Peter Pan.

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