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Barometer Investigation
Task with Student Directions
Contributed by: Oregon State Department of Education


  • coffee can
  • index card
  • rubber cement
  • straw
  • scissors
  • plastic wrap or balloons
  • rubber band
  • barometer or barometric readings


After building your barometer, develop a procedure to answer a question using scientific inquiry. The question is: "In your investigation over the next two weeks, what type of local weather conditions (like humidity, temperature, precipitation, wind, storms) can barometric readings predict?"


  1. Using the barometer you made in class, your task is to use scientific inquiry to answer this question.

  3. You will have the next two weeks to make observations and then you will have two class periods to complete your investigation. As you design your investigation, think about:
    • How will you keep track of the barometric measurements? For example, tables or graphs.
    • How will you know if your barometer is working correctly? For example, keep track of the barometric reading from a reliable source like the newspaper or off of the Internet.
    • How can you be sure that you can compare your measurements from day to day? What variables should you control?
  • How will you record the weather conditions each day?


Under the heading "PROCEDURE" list, in order, the steps you will use to answer the question. You may include a diagram to help illustrate your plans for the investigation. Include any safety procedures you would follow. Make your procedure detailed enough, so someone else could follow it easily.

  1. Construct a data table or chart or indicate any other method you could use to record your observations and results that will be obtained.


  1. Perform the investigation by following the steps outlined in your procedure. Be sure to note any changes to your listed procedures and tell why.

    Under the heading "RESULTS" record your observations and measurements. Write statements or paragraphs and/or use tables and graphs where appropriate.


  3. Under the heading "CONCLUSIONS," write an interpretation and analysis of your results. Note any limitations to your investigation. What additional investigations or questions were suggested as you did your investigation?


5. Under the heading "SCIENTIFIC QUESTION," based on what you learned in your investigation, write your own question that can be answered with further scientific inquiry using the same classroom materials that you had for this investigation.


  1. Write a report of your experiment, including the sections mentioned above.




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