Measuring Wind Strength (Making an Anemometer)

Part of the "Predicting Weather" Collection


Students will make an anemometer to measure wind strength.

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.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.MD.C.6¬†Measure angles in whole-number degrees using a protractor. Sketch angles of specified measure.


  • Plastic protractors (1 per small group)
  • Ping-pong balls (1 per small group)
  • String
  • Tape or glue


  1. Distribute materials and lead students in following the directions on the following website to build their anemometers:
  2. Out in the schoolyard, model for students how to hold the protractor parallel to the ground at shoulder height, pointing into the wind, while a partner reads the displacement on the protractor (the conversion chart for degree angles to miles per hour is provided on the website).
  3. Record data each day for two weeks to determine the prevailing wind patterns of that time of year at your school.