DISCOVERING WIND

Learning Intention:

 

To understand what wind is and how it is made.  To understand how weather reports work. To explore patterns in wind strength over time. 

Why does the wind blow? Thanks to PBS for the video

Discussion:

   

What is something you can’t see, but you can feel?

What do you know about wind?

Why is wind important to us?

What is wind?

   

Wind is the horizontal movement of air caused by differences in air pressure.  Air pressure is the weight of air molecules pressing down on the Earth. Wind blows because the sun heats land faster than it heats water and this causes changes in air pressure. .

   

Moving air becomes a force that can move things, such as a sailboat, leaves or the blades on a wind turbine. Scientists who study weather are called meteorologists.  They measure wind speed using an instrument called an anemometer.  Wind direction can be measured by using a wind vane or windsock.

Activity:  Wind observations and weather reports.

 

We can’t see the wind, but we can often see the results of the wind.

 

Have you witnessed the effects of the wind?  What effect does the wind have on humans and animals?

 

List some of the ways you can see the effect of winds For example leaves moving across the ground..

 

Go outside to look for clues about the wind.

 

What is the wind doing today? Can you feel it on your face?  Is it strong or weak?  Is it always moving at the same speed?

 

Back in the classroom, make a prediction about the weather report for wind speed and direction, for today.  Go to the internet and check the weather report for today to see how close your prediction is. https://www.metservice.com/

 

Take a daily weather report of the wind speed and direction and record on a chart.  Look at the reports over a week or fortnight.  Do you notice any patterns?

 

Where is the windiest city on Earth? Right here in Aotearoa New Zealand! Wellington is the windiest city in the World. Wellington's winds are knows as the Roaring 40s, because they are 40 to 50 degrees south of the equator, rip across the Pacific Ocean and are compressed by the narrow gap between the North and South Islands - Te Moana o Raukawa the Cook Strait - before they hit Wellington.

 

What landscapes are most affected by the wind? Why? Coastal and high altitude areas. Wind speed varies throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and also varies from season to season. The windiest months in Aotearoa New Zealand are November and December. Why?

 

To predict the weather, data is collected on sea buoys, boats, ports and on land in order to inform the public.  Where is weather data collected in your local area?

 

Is it important to know the wind strength and direction each day?  Who is it important for?

 

It is particularly important for sailors and boaties to check the weather before they go on the water. Why? Is today's weather suitable for sailing? Why or why not?

Glossary:

 

Wind, Kōkōhau - Moving air

 

Ocean, Moana

 

Sailboat, Waka Hourua

 

Tāwhirimātea - The Atua or god of weather including the god of wind.  He is the son of Papatūānuku (earth mother) and Ranginui (sky father)

 

Meteorologist - A weather scientist

 

Oceanographer - Someone who studies the ocean

 

Anemometer - An instrument for measuring wind speed

 

Wind Vane - A device that measures the direction of the wind

 

Weather Prediction - What you think will happen with the weather

 

Sea buoy - A floating marker in the sea

 

Knot - One nautical mile per hour

 

Compass - A tool for finding direction such as North, South, East or West

 

Sea Breeze and Land Breeze - The winds created by a difference in temperature between the sea and the land

 

Prevailing Wind - The most common wind in a location

Sea State - The height of the waves

 

Wind Rose Diagram - A diagram that summarizes information about the wind at a particular place and over a period of time

 

Ocean swell, Hone - A long rolling wave that is formed a long way away

 

Wind Turbine, Kapohau - A propeller that gets spun by the wind to turn wind power into energy

You might also like to try these other activities from WHEN THE WIND BLOWS

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THE NEED FOR SPEED 

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WHICH WAY WIND

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THE WIND AND THE WAVES

Do you want to learn more about the wind?

Try these learning experiences as well.

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A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH

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HOW SAIL BOATS WORK

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FEEL THE POWER

OF THE WIND

And when you think you have learnt enough then it is time to design your own technology to harness the power of the wind.