Science Fun

Make A Wind Vane Weather Science Experiment

In this fun and easy science experiment, we’re going to explore and investigate weather by making a wind vane. 



  • Straight pin
  • Round plastic drinking cup with lid, or round food storage container such as a yogurt container with lid
  • Poster board or cardboard
  • Construction paper
  • Pebbles or sand
  • Drawing compass
  • Ruler
  • Sharpened pencil
  • Modeling clay or putty
  • Black permanent marker
  • Straight drinking straw
  • Magnetic compass
  • Glue


  1. Begin by placing the lid on the plastic container. Then turn the container upside down onto your poster board or construction paper. Trace around the lid, and then make a second circle around the outer edge, at least 2 inches wider than the first one using a writing compass.
  2. Utilize a ruler to split the lid in half along its diameter, and after that divide each of those halves in half. Write the words for the four parts of the compass along the outer edge of each of the four sides. Moving from the top, clockwise, she should write “North, East, South, and West,” which will create your directional compass.
  3. At this point open the container. Put a blob of modeling clay or putty on the inside bottom of the container, and after that load the remainder to the top with pebbles or sand. Snap the container lid on and tape it, if necessary, to hold it in place.
  4. Glue the container, upside down, onto the poster board directional compass base you have just created.
  5. Using the sharpened pencil, poke it through the middle of the plastic container so that the eraser is on top, and the point is held inside the cup firmly in place by the putty and sand.
  6. At this point, trim a broad triangle and a square, both about 3 inches across from the construction paper. Cut a slit in both ends of the straw. Slide the triangle onto one end and the square onto the other. Use a little glue to help hold them in place. Press the pin through the center of the straw and then push the sharp point of the needle into the top of the pencil eraser. The straw should be able to move freely.
  7. Now head outside and use a magnetic compass to orient your wind vane. Now wait for a gust of wind!




How it Works:

A wind vane (also known as a weather vane) is an instrument that is used to determine the direction the wind is blowing from. This is important to understand as a common misconception is that the wind vane will point toward the where the wind is blowing. The tail fin of a wind vane is designed to catch the wind and the arrow will point toward the direction the wind is blowing from. For example, if the arrow on the weather vane is pointing south then it means there is a south wind.


Make This A Science Project:

Try blowing on your wind vane with a fan or hair dryer and see if higher wind speeds effect the wind vane’s performance.