Make Your Own Rain Gauge

Make Your Own Rain Gauge

This lesson developed by Reach Out!

Recommended Age: Elementary


Can I make a rain gauge?
Can I measure rainfall?

What You Need

  1. Plastic ruler
  2. Scissors
  3. Clear Waterproof Tape
  4. Glass wide mouth jar with wide bottom (suggest a quart jar)

What You Do

  1. You might cut the ruler in half so you can measure rain up to six inches. The six-inch ruler will fit better in your quart jar, too!

  2. Place the ruler inside the jar. Tape the ruler in place.

  3. When it is going to rain, place your jar in an open area where it can collect rain. Don't put the jar near or under trees or near buildings.

  4. After it rains, see how much rain actually fell. Try to measure to the nearest tenth of an inch.

  5. You may want to record the amount of rainfall you get for several rains. You could keep track of rainfall for an entire month. To determine how much total rain you had for the month, add up all the measurements.

It is fun to record rainfall for several months. See if the amount changes with different months and seasons.

What Is Happening

You can study many things about your own weather. One thing you can easily do is make a rain guage and track the amount of rain you get in different storms or in different months of the year. With this information about rainfall in certain months, what kinds of activities would be best suited for different months? When would you plan outside activities? When would you plant gardens and fields? Check out other information to learn more about the weather patterns in your area. What kinds of things are happening in the atmosphere that impact the amount of rain you get during different times of the year?

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