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Kidstime: Making your own barometer

We know that weather is of interest to all ages here in New Zealand and sometimes a little Kiwi ingenuity can make our weather even more interesting and interactive.

Making a barometer can give you an indication of what type air pressures are about.There’s a small set up but it’s fairly straight forward…


A small coffee or milo tin
A piece of glad wrap
Pair of scissors
1 straw
1 system/index card
and a rubber band


Tightly cover the top of the coffee/milo tin with gladwrap, using a rubber band to hold the gladwrap in place.

The cover should be tight making the tin airtight.

Place the straw horizontally or sideways on the gladwrap so that about two-thirds of the straw is on the tin.

Tape the straw to the middle of the gladwrap so that it won’t fall off.

Now tape a system or index card onto the tin behind the straw. The straw will act as a pointer on the card.

Jot down the position of the straw on the card with a pencil.

After about 15 minutes, record the new position of the straw on the card and then you might want to keep checking and recording the straw position as many times as you want.


High pressure should make the gladwrap cave in and the straw go up. Low pressure will make the gladwrap puff up and the straw go down. If you can, compare it with a real barometer.

Please let us know how you get on and what differences you’ve been able to record.


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