The classroom weather station will be the focal point of the unit. The station which your students will design will not be as sophisticated as the National Weather Service, but a wealth of knowledge and information can be obtained from the one your students design in your classroom. An excellent closure to this unit, or motivational aspect, would be to plan a field trip to a local weather station. Your students will discover that even though the weather station’s instruments are much more sophisticated and technologically advanced than their models, both sets of instruments produce or obtain the same weather data. In order to set up the weather station in your classroom, you will have to construct instruments to measure the wind, air pressure, relative humidity, and precipitation. Background information and instructions for designing each of these instruments needed for your weather station can be found in the prose, and Appendices 1 through 6 at the conclusion of this unit.
Some of the instruments, such as the rain gauge anemometer and wind vane, have to be placed outside in the open, free from any objects that can obstruct windflow or precipitation. The barometer, an instrument which measures air pressure, can be housed in the classroom. The thermometer will require a special holding station to protect it from precipitation and direct sunlight. However, air must be able to pass through it. Instructional information can be found in the Appendix at the end of this unit.
It is extremely important that the students record the data from their weather station in their journals each day. They should also write a brief description of the weather conditions each day. The worksheet in Appendix 1 can be used by the students to record their data, or they can design their own individualized data sheets.