Purpose: To learn how wind is created. How temperature can effect the wind and create wind in our atmosphere. For more on wind and weather see our wind page or Weather for Kids.
- 2 identical bowls or pans
- sand or soil
- 4 thermometers
- heat lamp or overhead light with reflector
- masking tape
- Fill one bowl two-thirds full of sand or soil.
- Place one thermometer in the soil with the bulb covered slightly. Use masking tape to hold the thermometer in place.
- Place a second thermometer in the bow with its bulb about 1 cm above the sand. Tape it in place.
- Fill the second box two-thirds full of water.
- Repeat positioning the thermometers as in steps 2 and 3.
- Place the two bowls about 2 cm apart and position the light approximately 25 cm from the tops of the bowls.
- Record the temperature for all four thermometers with the light off in the data chart below.
- Turn on the light and take the temperature readings every two minutes for 14 minutes and record.
- Turn off the light and take the temperature readings every two minutes for 14 minutes and record.
- Graph your data using a different color pencil for each thermometer.
- Did the air heat faster over the water or the soil?
- After you turned the light off, which one lost heat the fastest?
- Compare the temperatures of the air above the water and above the soil after the light was turned off.
- You have learned that hot air rises and cold air sinks. Air always moves from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. Using what you know and the outcome of this experiment, explain how wind is created at the shore.
- Bonus: In a hurricane, where would the wind be the strongest?
Reference: NASA SciFiles
More Weather Experiements:
Coriolis Effect - How the spin of the Earth effects our daily lives.
Storm Surge - Learn how hurricanes cause the ocean level to rise and fload land.
Back to Kids Science Projects Page
Back to Kids Science Page
Back to Kids Study Page