Good News: We're on the Rise!

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Learners build a simple aneroid barometer to learn about changes in barometric pressure and weather forecasting. They observe their barometer and record data over a period of days. This activity can be connected to other activities to create a larger lesson or curriculum unit. Resource contains vocabulary definitions and suggestions for assessment, extensions, and scaling for different levels of learners.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 empty, wide-mouth jar
  • 1 sheet of Mylar or a helium-quality balloon
  • 1 heavy, thick rubber band
  • 1 small ball of poster putty
  • 1 toothpick
  • 1 piece of cardboard (for the barometer scale; approximately 8 x 10 inches)
  • The day's barometric pressure (sources: newspaper weather page, television or radio weather broadcast, or Internet weather website)
  • Barometric Pressure Log
  • Graph paper (optional)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
    • Science as a Career


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Kolenbrander, Amy ; Yowell, Janet ; Mach, Natalie ; Schaefer Zarske, Malinda ; Carlson, Denise

Source Collection

  • TeachEngineering


  • All rights reserved, Regents of the University of Colorado, 2004

Funding Sources:

  • Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • National Science Foundation, 0226322