Design and Build a Barometer

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In this activity, learners make a barometer, an instrument to measure change in air pressure. Learners take measurements with their barometer, then make weather predictions and compare them to professional weather reports. Learners are also encouraged to think of and explain an experiment that could test the accuracy of their barometer and their predictions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Tables
  • Big glass jar or beaker
  • Small glass jar
  • 2 balloons (1 large and 1 small)
  • Tape
  • Straw
  • Rubber bands
  • Pen or marker
  • Scissors


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Office for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (MSTE), University of Illinois


  • All rights reserved, University of Illinois, 2009

Funding Sources:

  • 3M Foundation
  • Noyce Foundation