Thursday, November 14, 2013

Weather Weather Whether You Like It Or Not

It was a very rainy day in September. Seemed like a perfect time to start a unit study on weather!

We did a few fun experiments on water cycle and air pressure. We read some books. We did some research online. We rummaged and collected all the necessary pieces to make our weather tracking apparatus.

Glass jar, rubber band, balloon, some tape and a straw. We got a barometer!

Another jam jar, a ruler and more tape. Just like that we got ourselves a simple rain gauge.

With a pad of paper, we started collecting data.

Our homemade barometer was surprisingly accurate when we checked its daily measurements against the air pressure recorded on Government of Canada Weather Forecast.

 Just as we learned from our egg-in-a-bottle experiment, when the atmospheric air pressure drops, the higher pressure inside our barometer jar tries to push the air out, thus stretching the balloon outward and making the pointer drop. It really works!

While we're at it, might as well learn something about clouds!

We added an extra column and started tracking the clouds too. Lots of cumulus and stratus clouds this time of year, but we've had a surprisingly nice fall which allowed us to catch glimpses of those wispy cirrus and cirrostratus clouds.

When we set out to study weather, one of the things we were curious about was how it relates to migraines, something Serena and daddy suffer especially in the fall and winter.

After a month and a half of data collection, Serena charted her findings and made some interesting observations. For one, it seems like she and daddy both get headaches when the air pressure goes up significantly in a short time span. Who needs the weather channel when you have two human barometers at home!

Related Readings:
"50 Climate Questions" by Peter Christie
"Weather" by Deborah Chancellor
"Everything Weather" by Tim Samaras
"How Do Clouds Form?" by Lynn Peppas
"Global Warming" by Seymour Simon

1 comment:

  1. You did a great job.When i went for my pilot licence we had to study this.
    Wish i would have had your skills .It would have made my studies much easier
    Great detail .And you are right about your migraine observations
    Love Nanny & Papa