fbpx
Pre-purchased tickets required. Tickets available online or by calling 716.896.5200   

Virtual Science Fair

View All Activities
science icon yellow - DIY Barometer

DIY Barometer

VSF presented by 3 e1587502584108 - DIY Barometer

Have science fun as a family! Complete activities with parental supervision.

Materials:
  • Glass jar
  • Balloon or rubber glove
  • Rubber band
  • Plastic straw
  • Tape
  • Index card
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
Procedure
  1. If you are using a balloon, cut off the skinny part of the balloon.
  2. Stretch the balloon or rubber glove out over the lid of the glass jar so it is nice and tight, and secure it with a rubber band. If you’re using a rubber glove, knot the fingers together to keep them out of the way.
  3. Cut the straw into a point and tape it to the balloon or rubber glove making sure that it is no more than half way on.
  4. Tape the index card to a stable surface and use the index card and permanent marker to start recording the weather outside, and thus air pressure.
  5. Over the next week, see if the straw moves up or down and what the weather outside is like. Draw on the index card accordingly.
  6. Be sure to take a picture or video to share in the Facebook comments on the Buffalo Museum of Science or Tifft Nature Preserve pages!

What’s it all about?

A meteorologist is a scientist who studies the atmosphere and what happens there in order to understand, explain, and predict the weather.

An aneroid (no fluid) barometer is a useful tool for meteorologists to examine changes in air pressure and predict what weather is on the way. Barometers can also be used to measure altitude as pressure decreases with an increase in altitude.

As the air pressure outside of the jar changes, the balloon or rubber glove lid will move up or down. A rise in the straw indicates a high pressure system and oftentimes means that clear, sunny weather is on the way. A falling straw indicates a low pressure system, which may lead to wet and stormy weather.

Try It!
  • Over the next week, note (and mark down) if the straw moves up or down and what the weather conditions are like. Did you notice any patterns?
  • Do you think the barometer will work inside the house? Why or why not? Try it out!
reflection 2518477 1920 - DIY Barometer
barometer 4785000 1920 - DIY Barometer
reflection 2518477 1920 - DIY Barometer

More Great Virtual Science Fair Activities

  • Decoder Wheel

    Secret codes have been used for thousands of years to send messages that you didn’t want just anyone reading. Try your hand at cryptography, the study of secret codes, in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity

  • Bird Beaks

    Explore how different bird beak adaptations can help birds eat and survive in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity

  • Saltwater, Freshwater

    How do you make drinkable water out of saltwater? Try making a solar sill in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity

  • Earthquake Epicenter

    Western New York had its very own earthquake yesterday afternoon! Scientists determined that the epicenter of this 2.3 magnitude earthquake was in Wanakah, NY - but what IS an epicenter? Check out this Virtual Science Fair activity to find out!Open Activity

  • Penny Chemistry

    Find out why the Statue of Liberty is that light green color in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity