Rain Gauge Project - Science Lab

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I’m a Meteorologist!
Background Information
You have been learning all about different types of weather and you know how to record
data. Today you will be given a design challenge where you will have to use some of your
weather knowledge.
Design Challenge
You are a Meteorologist for a local TV station. Part of your job is to report on rainfall for
the Marietta area. You are to create your own weather rain gauge. You need to test it,
measure and record rainfall amounts, and report your results back to the rest of the class.
Criteria
Your weather instrument must
 the rain gauge must include a unit of measurement
 it must work and you must be able to use it accurately
 be able to be made in the science lab in one class period
Possible Materials/Tools:




plastic water bottle (1 pint or 500ml)
or other container for collecting rain
Scissors
Markers
Tape (masking or duct)




Writing tools for data collection
Weather recording sheet
Units for measurement (inches, cm,
Unifix cubes, etc.)
Any other items you think you might
need for your design
Standards
Science
S1E1. Students will observe, measure, and communicate weather data to see patterns in
weather and climate.
 b. Investigate weather by observing, measuring with simple weather instruments
(thermometer, wind vane, rain gauge), and recording weather data (temperature,
precipitation, sky conditions, and weather events) in a periodic journal or on a
calendar seasonally.
 c. Correlate weather data (temperature, precipitation, sky conditions, and weather
events) to seasonal changes.
Math
MCC1.MD.2: Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying
multiple copies of a shorter object end to end; understand that the length measurement
of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps.
Assessments/Rubrics



Student Journals
Student Checklist
Teacher Observation
CRITERIA
Your rain gauge must
 be made out of a plastic bottle (unless you have prior
approval from your teacher to use a different container)
 be able to be made in one class period in the science lab
 it must work and you must be able to use it accurately
 there should be visible marks that indicate how much rain
there is
 work in a rainstorm
I’m a Meteorologist!
Student Journal
Name_______________________________________
1. ASK: What is the problem?

State the problem in words.
OR draw a picture of the problem and label it.
Date_________________________
2. BRAINSTORM Possibilities

What do you already know that will help you solve this problem?

Think about the constraints of this challenge.

Sketch or describe some possible solutions.

Be sure to add labels to your design.
3. CREATE the solution that you think is best. Decide which design is the best possible solution to
the problem and determine how you will make it.

Write down your design plan step-by-step.
1.
2.
3.
4.

List or draw the materials that you will need to complete your design.
 _____________________________________
 _____________________________________
 _____________________________________
4. DRAW and label your final design.
5. Time to BUILD your rain gauge! You will build your rain gauge during your science lab time.
6. EVALUATE your solution.
a. Test your design. Measure rainfall for 2 weeks.
b. Record your results for each day of the week and the total rainfall for the 2 week period.
c. Did your design solve the problem?
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
Did you create a working rain gauge? YES

How could you improve your design?

What could you do differently next time? Draw or write
NO
_____________________________________________________________________
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