Make a Wind Vane

pin pencil

On your next windy day, test the wind’s direction with a simple wind vane.

What You Need

  • Cardstock or thick paper
  • Compass (optional)
  • Pencil with a new eraser on the end
  • Straight pin
  • Scissors
  • Straw
  • Tape

What You Do

  1. Balance the straw on the eraser end of the pencil to find its center.
    Poke the pin through the straw, and into the eraser, at that point. The straw should be able to spin freely on the pin. Wiggle the pin to enlarge the hole, if necessary.
    pin pencil
  2. Cut a triangle-shaped arrow head and a slightly larger square-shaped tail from the cardstock.
    Carefully slit both ends of the straw. Insert the head and tail into the slits.

    cut straw

  3. Tape the rudder in place.

    tape rudder

  4. Stand outside in the wind.
    Fasten it to a structure, such as a deck rail, or simply hold it upright in a windy location.
    Use a compass to confirm which way north, east, south, and west lie. The wind vane should point in the direction from which the wind is blowing.

    testing wind