Measuring Air Pressure (Making a Barometer)

Part of the "Predicting Weather" Collection


Students will make a barometer to measure air pressure.

Estimated Time

45 Minutes

Setting Required

Inside and Outside


  • S4E4. Students will analyze weather charts/maps and collect weather data to predict weather events and infer patterns and seasonal changes.
    • a. Identify weather instruments and explain how each is used in gathering weather data and making forecasts (thermometer, rain gauge, barometer, wind vane, anemometer).
    • c. Use observations and records of weather conditions to predict weather patterns throughout the year.


  • Wide-mouthed glass jar (1 per small group)
  • Balloon (1 per small group)
  • Rubber band (1 per small group)
  • Drinking straw (1 per small group)
  • Manila folder (1 per small group)
  • Small piece of modeling class (1 per small group)
  • Shoebox (1 per small group)
  • Scissors, glue / tape
  • Rulers, pen / pencil


  1. Distribute materials and lead students in following the directions on the following website to build their barometers:
  2. Set up barometers out in the schoolyard, recognizing that high pressure will make the balloon seal dip causing the straw to go up and low pressure will make the balloon puff up causing the straw to go down.
  3. Record data each day for two weeks to determine how to air pressure changes.