Science with Shields: Episode #35 – Rain Gauge

Science with Shields

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to make your own rain gauge.

What you need: 

  1. Water bottle
  2. Knife
  3. Ruler
  4. Permanent Marker/Sharpie

    Instructions:

    First you want to use a ruler and mark your water bottle up the side. I used inches, but you can use centimeters if you would like. Next, have an adult carefully cut the top of the water bottle off. You then want to flip the cut off top, upside down and stick it in the bottle. It should like a funnel. If you have issues with it staying in place you may want to tape it. Ta-da! You have created your rain gauge. Stick it outside, and see how much rain you collect the next time it rains.

    Science: 

    The National Weather Service has a standard rain gauge and guidelines of how a rain gauge should be used for their recordings. This is so that there is a unified way to measure the rain across the country to keep everything as close to the same as possible for accuracy purposes.

    Their standard rain gauge measures up to 8 inches of rainfall. The rain gauge also must be placed in an area that there are no objects around that could impact the amount of rain that goes into the gauge. It should not be close to a house, building or trees. It should also not be placed on top of a roof. Also, the rain gauge is to be mounted on a 4” X 4” post so that is elevated from off the ground. Next, on the post the gauge should be 6” higher than the top of the post. The rain gauge should also be cleaned occasionally with dish soap.

    If you make a rain gauge make sure to send us a photo of it!

    Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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