Drops Add Up
- Describe ways to measure rainfall
- Measure rainfall using a DIY rain gauge
The first Edible Learning Lab opened in Buffalo, WY at the Boys & Girls Club of the Bighorns in October of 2015. Buffalo is a sleepy mountain town nestled at the base of the Bighorn Mountains and the Cloud Peak Wilderness. The weather is unpredictable as a result of the influence of the snow-capped peaks to the west.
It’s common chatter on Main Street to discuss the weather. Old timers will invariably mention how much more unforgiving the winters were when they were young. Ranchers will bark about the lack of rain or snowfall given the season. Weather, and in particular, the amount of rain, define life in Buffalo where cattle and ranching are still the mainstays of the economy. It seems that everyone knows just how much rain the last storm dropped and what’s expected from the storm that just might blow in next week.
Do you think they are all measuring rainfall? Maybe they’re just getting the measurement from the Edible Learning Lab!
Teach the Teacher
- Measuring Rainfall and Collection Potential
- DIY Rain Gauge
Tools & Materials
- Cylinder or 2 liter bottle
- Pebbles or rocks
- Scissors or knife
- Bucket or large container
- Surface area
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson by describing the various methods for measuring rainfall. Ask the question “How could we measure rainfall outside the Lab?”
Activity (20 minutes)
Following the steps in the DIY Rain Gauge article, construct a gauge to be used to measure rainfall outside the Lab. Place the gauge in an area free of any overhead obstructions that might block rainfall. Once the gauge is installed, return to the Lab and check the weather online to identify the next possible weather event.
Discussion (10 minutes)
When is it expected to rain next? How much rainfall is expected? When should we check our gauge?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you think you could build a rain gauge to measure rainfall?
- Now that you’ve built a rain gauge, how many of you think you could help someone else build one?
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