Why do Hurricanes go Counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere?

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In this kinesthetic activity, learners will play a game with a ball to demonstrate the Coriolis force, which partly explains why hurricanes in the Northern Hemisphere rotate counterclockwise. This activity also demonstrates Newton's 1st Law. This activity can be used with a large even group of learners but works best if first demonstrated by just 2 to 6 learners.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • One foam ball
  • A large area to form a circle with your learners
  • An even number of participants


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Newton's Laws
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Little Shop of Physics, 2009