Weather experiment – make your own rain gauge

Weather Stories

If you are looking for something fun and educational to do with your children who are home from school that is also hands on, we have just the experiment for you! With just a couple of simple items that you likely have around the house, you can make a rain gauge!

Items you’ll need:
2 liter bottle
6 inches of masking tape
1 ruler
Marker (something like a Sharpie)

First, cut the top of the 2 liter bottle. Make sure you cut low enough to where the bottle is full size. We will need it to fit back together later. With your maker and masking tape, copy ruler markings onto the masking tape. This experiment measures every inch from 0 to 5, but you could measure every half inch if you prefer. Fill the bottle with about an inch of water. The exact amount doesn’t matter. We just need the bottle to not tip over as we place it outside. Place the masking tape on the bottle, lining up the bottom of the tape with the top of the water in the bottle. Be sure to line up the the meniscus. Take the top of the bottle that we cut and place it back into the bottle, flipping it over so that the top is like a funnel into the bottle.

You are then ready to go! Place your rain gauge outside away from structures so that it will be an accurate representation of rainfall. Measure the rain after each event and then dump out the water, refilling the bottle with water in the bottom so it doesn’t tip over!

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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