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Activity: Measure Rainfall

Activity Type: Lesson Plans / Curriculum |
Audience: General Public, Students |
Grades: K-4, 5-8
Learning Time: 15 minutes

This activity guides you on how to make a water gauge with common materials you have at home.

You may know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” Depending where you live, snow may have already turned to rain before March 20, the first day of Spring. Throughout Spring, scientists measure and compare rainfall at different locations. This rainfall data is important for understanding “April showers” and measuring the average rainfall from year-to-year. Scientists also measure how much rain falls and is stored in Earth’s lakes, rivers, and underground as a part of Earth’s water cycle.

Rain is an important part of the water cycle, providing the main source of fresh drinking water to all life on Earth, and scientists want to make sure we are getting enough of it. Earth-observing satellites like the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) help scientists measure rainfall all over the world (including hard-to-reach geographic areas without surface-based radar coverage)

Collage of activity text and photos of a plastic bottle with rocks.
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