Photo of Governor Martin O'Malley with group of children - Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature

Build Your Own Wind Gauge - Illustration of completed projectOutdoor Activities for Children

“In like a lion and out like a lamb” describes the month of March. It marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. When people think of March weather, the first thing they often think of is “wind”.

Is March really more windy than other months? Try building your own wind gauge and find out.

You will need:

  • Four small paper cups
  • Bright colored marker or paint
  • Stiff cardboard; corrugated cardboard works well
  • New pencil with an eraser
  • Push pin
  • Can full of dirt or sand
  • Scissors, ruler, and stapler

    Illustation of How to build a wind gauge

    What to do:

  • Cut the rolled edge off the paper cups; this will make them lighter. Try to have all the cups the same size.
  • Use the marker or paint to color the outside of one of the cups.
  • Cut two strips of cardboard 14 inches long and 1 inch wide. Draw diagonal lines to find the exact center.

  • Lay the two strips on top of each other and stick the push pin through the center of both strips.
  • Move one strip so it is at right angles to the other strip and staple the two strips together.
  • Staple a paper cup to the end of each strip with the open ends all facing in the same direction.
  • Stick the push pin into the pencil eraser. Make sure that the cups go around easily.
  • Stick the other end of the pencil in the can of dirt or sand so the pencil stands up.
  • Place the wind gauge outside.
  • Count the number of times the colored cup goes around in one minute to measure relative wind speed.
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