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Science Projects: Weather and Climate



This article has information on weather and climate science projects.  Keep reading for tips and ideas for 1st-4th grade, 5th-8th grade, and 9th-12th grade science projects on weather and climate.

These science project ideas help students study and learn more about weather and climate. Parents may wish to adapt projects to fit a particular curriculum or child. Also, consider modifying projects from higher or lower grades to fit your need. Some projects are worth repeating with changed criteria that reflect a child’s growing understanding and capabilities.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Grade

Tips: Focus on helping students develop observation skills and the use of simple measuring tools. Students may need help keeping track of observations and measurements over time. Use a calendar to help keep records.

  • Observe the relationship of weather to seasons. Does it only snow in the winter? Does it only get above, say, 70ºF in the summer? Is there more than one season that has the same weather (e.g., rain)?
  • Make a poster showing different kinds of precipitation.
  • Make a poster showing different kinds of local storms.
  • Make a poster showing different kinds of clouds. Relate the various clouds to different weather.
  • Record the daily weather, such as temperature, rainfall, etc. Keep a chart.
  • How does the weather affect the daily activities of people in your area? Use observation to determine answers.
  • Take air pressure readings with a barometer and figure out relationships between air pressure and weather.
  • Using data (but no maps) for today, draw a weather map yourself. Compare it to a professional one.
  • Measure wind speed with an anemometer and wind direction using a weather vane or wind sock. Look for relationships between different wind descriptions and temperature changes.

5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade

Tips: Intermediate level students may or may not require support - it will depend on the child and the particular project.

  • Record the daily weather and compare your findings with those at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website here: http://www.weather.gov/climate/ How do they compare? How do you explain any difference you find?
  • Record weather data in metric or standard English terms and convert to the other. Graph both sets of data (on separate graphs).
  • Identify and analyze differences between Northern and Southern Hemisphere weather in an illustrated report.
  • Watch several different weather casters over a period of time. How does their presentation of the weather differ? How are their presentations the same?
  • Related different types of weather to different forms of water (fog, rain, snow, hail).
  • Report on the effects of weather and climate on animal behavior. Watch for an opportunity to test for yourself observations about animal behavior and storm onset.
  • Identify relationships between weather or climate and animal camouflage.
  • Using a large map attached to the wall (with or without state names indicated), give your family a morning weather report.
  • Research climate change in your area across time.

9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade

Tips: Most students at this level will be able to complete projects independently. Long-term projects should have intermediate check-in times, as well as an end date.

  • Gather information on population and climate. Analyze any relationships you find.
  • Have a look at the temperature data from the National Climatic Data Center here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/extrememax.html Generate several questions that this data would answer or help to answer.
  • Global warming or global climate change? Do your own research to decide which term you think is appropriate and why.
  • Identify changes that have been proposed in human activity to help modify the climate. Analyze the potential usefulness and practicality of these proposals.
  • How has weathering affected the Earth in your area?
  • Research causes of the Ice Age.
  • Interview people who have lived in your community for a long time to gather their observations on changes to the weather and climate over the years.