Stormy science

Looking for rainy day science activities? With Storm Dennis on his way, these wet weather science experiments will keep your scientists-in-training entertained and curious. What a great way to make the most of the weather, however wet and windy it gets!

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Make a Robinson anemometer (wind speed measuring device)

Use paper cups, wooden dowels, a plastic bottle and other household items to make a device that measures wind speed. Click here for instructions.


Make a weather vane

Image: pbs.org

Find out which way the wind is blowing with this simple weather vane activity. Will it stand up to Storm Dennis-strength winds? There’s only one way to find out! Click here for instructions.


Make rain in a jar

If all this rain is prompting lots of wonderful questions, this activity could help you answer a big one: how does it rain? Use a glass jar, paper bowl, ice cubes and boiling water to investigate how rain is formed. Click here for instructions.


Make a rain gauge

The Met Office’s DIY rain gauge project uses an unexpected material to ensure that it takes accurate reading: jelly! Click here for instructions.


Make a tornado in a jar

OK, so we’re really hoping there won’t be any real tornados this weekend – making a mini tornado in a jar is much more fun, and a great demonstration of this swirling extreme weather phenomenon. Click here for instructions.


How to make fake snow with a disposable nappy!

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How to make fake snow with a disposable nappy!
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All you need to make your own fake snow at home are some cheap disposable nappies! Tear open the nappies over a large mixing bowl and shake out the small amount of white powder, so that it falls into your bowl. Remove any fluffy bits of nappy padding, then pour in some water, a little at a time, while stirring. You’ll be amazed at how much water the powder can absorb. Watch the spectacular transformation into slushy fake snow! The white powder is sodium polyacrylate, a polymer (a long chain-like molecule) which can absorb 300 times its own weight in water (which is why it’s used in nappies!).
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