Weather Experiments: How to Make a Rain Gauge by Hannah Strong


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• Empty 2-liter bottle
• Tape
• Small rocks
• Permanent marker
• Ruler
• Water

• Cut the top off the bottle. Look for where the top curves into the side and becomes straight, and cut at the top of that straight part (see video at the top of this page for the demonstration of where to cut). Do not throw the top away.

• Put a layer of stones in the bottom of the bottle to cover the uneven bottom. Add enough water to fully cover the stones and draw a line at the top of the water. That is where your ruler will start – the 0 line.

• Using a ruler and your marker, make a scale on the outside of the bottle in at least half-inch increments (0.5”, 1”, 1.5”, 2”, etc.).

• Turn the top of the bottle upside down (like a funnel) and tape it inside the bottle.

Set your rain gauge outside away from other objects. The goal is to only catch rain falling from the sky, not any water running off the roof, the patio table, etc.

Next time it rains, your rain gauge will collect water! After the rain is done, go check to see how much you collected using the ruler you drew on the side of the bottle.

After you have looked at the measurement, write it down in your log or journal, then you can dump the water out of your rain gauge. You will need to fill the bottom up again to your 0 line like you did when you first made it, so it’s ready to go for the next rain event.

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