Wild Wonders Weather Watch: Anemometer


  • 5 small paper cups
  • 2 straws
  • Pin
  • Sharpened pencil
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Marker

Before You Explore:

Can you make a simple tool that can measure wind speed? An anemometer is a weather instrument that measures the speed of the wind!

Connect with Nature:

  • Using your sharpened pencil, in four of the cups punch one hole about a centimeter down from the rim.
  • In the 5th cup, punch four evenly spaced holes about a centimeter down from the rim and also make a small hole in the bottom center of this cup (see photo).
  • Push your pencil eraser side up through the center hole of the cup.
  • Slide one of the straws through the hole in one of the four cups that has only one hole in it. Bend the end of the straw that is inside the cup and tape it to the inside of the cup.
  • Place the other end of the straw through two of the holes in the 5th cup. Then through the hole in one of the other cups. Also tape the end of the straw to the inside of that cup.
  • Repeat the last two steps with the remaining two cups.
  • Make sure the four cups all have their open ends facing in the same direction (clockwise) around the center cup and pencil.
  • Push the pin through the two straws where they overlap and then into the pencil eraser. 
  • Mark one of the cups with a marker. Use that cup as your starting point when measuring wind speed. When the wind blows see if you can count how many times the marked cup goes by in one minute!

 Dive Deeper!

Head to www.windy.com and enter your town in the search bar. Find the map key on the left of the page and explore what weather is in your area. Zoom out and in to explore this amazing interactive weather tool! What direction is the wind at your house blowing from? Where did it come from?