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This can also be turned into a math exercise. You can find out how many times wheel has to spin using circumference of wheel and some simple math.
Finally, mount wheel on a pole so that it is away from trees and level with ground, then count revolutions.
Another project involving math is construction of a rain gage. The easiest way to measure small amounts of rain is to magnify it. For example, meteorologists attach a tube that has a diameter of about one inch to a funnel that is either 4- or 8- inches across. The rain falls into funnel and accumulates in tube. The tube in my rain gauge fills one inch for every one-tenth of an inch of rain.
Use project as a math exercise to study area and volume. Start with a can that is about two inches in diameter - I like Pringles cans - and a funnel that is twice diameter. Experiment with larger funnels and smaller cans and see which one magnifies amount of rain most.
Weather diaries are fun, too. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin had weather diaries, recording weather at sunrise, noon and sunset every day. It is an inexpensive project and makes you observe world around you. Weather diaries can also be part of a trip diary, recording where you were and what weather was like at a specific point in time.
There is always something to do - something to observe - about weather.
Chris Orr is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist with more than 25 years of experience. His private practice includes work as an expert witness, weather forecasting and forecaster training. His column appears in the Rapid City Journal every Sunday. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his Web site www.rapidwx.com .