Building a Barometer

Forget your local meteorologist — build your own barometer and keep track of the weather with an activity that provides directions to build a barometer out of a narrow necked bottle, a glass, and some water. Using their barometer, teams keep track of the air pressure, along with the weather conditions for several days and determine trends that occur. They can then compare these trends with the expected changes.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Make more marks on the bottle to measure smaller amounts of pressure changes
  • Record the actual barametric pressure along with your measured pressure to determine the relationship between the two
Classroom Considerations
  • The activity assumes the class understands the relationship between the atmospheric pressure and weather
  • The two-hour timeframe is split between building the barometer, recording measurements for several days, and analyzing the trends
  • The third installment in a 12-part series
  • The activity provides an alternative to building a barometer without using mercury
  • The post-activity assessment requests the teams think of ways to improve on the design, bringing in aspects of the design method
  • None