Understanding science concepts can be super fun and easy when students make simple apparatuses. This rain gauge is one such apparatus that enables students to understand the fundamentals of a gauge and in specific how easy it is to measure something like the amount of rainfall.
Plastic bottle (you can tell them to bring it from home too)
Sand or small pebbles
Gauge: An instrument that measures and gives a visual display of the amount, level, or contents of something
Rain Gauge: Rain gauge is used to measure how much rainfalls. It is a meteorological instrument for determining the depth of precipitation (usually in mm) that occurs over a unit area (usually one metre square) and thus measuring rainfall amount
Meteorology: Relating to the branch of science concerned with the processes and phenomena of the atmosphere, especially as a means of forecasting the weather.
Instruction for students:
Briefly explain to them that science can be super fun if learned by making. And some fundamentals of a gauge.
Cut the plastic bottle into two carefully using scissors. Fill the lower part of the bottle with sand or small pebbles. We are doing this for two reasons one because most plastic bottles don’t have a flat base and we need this to have a baseline measurement. And this also adds some weight to the bottle which ensures it doesn’t fall.
Use a ruler and do the gauge measurement markings. Keep the top of the sand as the starting point of the measurement - zero. Then add markings for each centimeter and add the numbers too to make it visual.
Remove the bottle cap from the cut top part of the bottle and put it upside down into the lower part of the bottle. This acts as a funnel as we measure the rainfall. To make sure it is all nice and tight, take a piece of sellotape and put it around it
Instruction for teachers:
For students to fully understand how the gauge works, it would be ideal for it to actually be raining and for you to place the newly built gauge outside and measure the rainfall. If it isn’t raining the next best thing would be to just pour water into a newly built rain gauge and explain how this will be used when it is actually raining.
Make sure at the end of the class the students understand the meaning of some fundamental concepts learned - gauge, measurement, and meteorology.
Pro Tip: Class Challenge
During heavy rainfalls, this structure may not withstand strong winds, so you can do additional things to make it stronger. For example, digging a hole in the sand and placing the bottle instead of directly placing it in the ground. But there can be several other ideas too and so you can probably even have a challenge inside your class itself to see which person/group has built the most sturdier structure
Have fun making and share the works of your students with the hashtag #projectprayogshala to get featured!