PrimarySecondarySTEM ...

Wind speed measurement – Make an anemometer with paper cups

What's included?

Two-page PDF featuring classroom activity ideas, plus teacher notes

Key Stage

KS1, KS2, KS3


Years 1-9


If you want to undertake a wind speed measurement investigation with your class, this two-page PDF explains how to:

  • create an anemometer to measure wind speed
  • predict and compare the effect wind will have on the anemometer
  • create wind to test the anemometer

It’s the perfect activity for groups of three or four and can be done indoors or outdoors. It’s suitable for KS1-KS3 and touches on science (climate), maths (gathering data) and English (following instructions).

You will need:

  • 5 paper cups
  • 2 paper straws or wooden doweling
  • Pencil
  • Drawing pin
  • Fan
  • Hair dryer

Wind speed measurement activity

Once you’ve made your anemometer, mark one of the cups with a colour so it is different from the others. This will help pupils count how many turns their anemometer makes with different wind speeds.

Question for pupils:

  • What do you think will happen when the wind blows?
  • Why does the anemometer spin in the wind?
  • What do you think might happen when the wind blows more strongly?

Stick the anemometer into the ground and use the the wind outside. Alternatively indoors use a hair dryer, a fan or pupils can create their own wind flapping a tray near to the anemometer.

Pupils record the effect different wind speeds have on the movement of the anemometer.

Find out more about Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium.

Wind speed measurement instructions
Wind speed measurement – Make an anemometer with paper cups
PrimarySecondarySTEM ...

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