Weather Workshop - Creating a weather vane

Weather Workshop: Wind Vane

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - In today’s Weather Workshop, Meteorologists Andrew Dockery and Jessica Dobson show you a simple way to create a weather instrument called a wind vane.

A wind vane is a weather instrument that is used to tell the direction of wind, unlike an anemometer which measures the speed that wind is moving.


  • Rice
  • Paper clips
  • Paper
  • Plastic straw
  • Push pin
  • Tape
  • Cup
  • Pencil (with eraser)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Adult supervision


Since we’re dealing with sharp objects in this experiment, it’s a good idea to have adult supervision when conducting this.

The first step you’ll take when creating your wind vane is simple - fill your cup with rice.

Next, take your paper clips and bend them into four different letters so that they form the letters “N”, “E”, “S” and “W”. It’s okay to have a little bit of extra hanging down off of the paper clips.

Now, you’ll take your tape and attach the paperclip letters to the top of your pencil. Make sure the letters are positioned correctly so that they mimic the directions you’d find on a compass.

Next, you’ll place your pencil (eraser side pointing up) in the center of your cup in the rice.

Take your scissors and cut a small triangle out of your index card or paper. Then cut a one inch slit into one end of your straw. Put a small dab of glue on either side of your triangle and place your paper triangle in between the slit in the straw, the glue should help the paper stay in place.

This part is where you’ll want to have your adult supervision. Take the push pin and stick it through the straw, then place the pointed end of the push pin into the eraser of the pencil.

This completes your wind vane!

Here is what your finished weather vane will look like.
Here is what your finished weather vane will look like. (Source: WMBF)

The arrow you created with your triangular piece of paper points to which direction the wind is blowing. By looking at your letters, they’ll tell you which specific direction the wind is blowing as well.

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