# How Far Can You Blow a Cloud Measurement STEM Activity

## How Far Can Your Blow a Cloud?

Or perhaps a cotton ball?

I feel like measurement is one of those skills that are best formed with experience and real hands-on activities. Such as, you’re rearranging your room. How much space do you need for your desk?

Or comparing the lengths of dinosaurs.

I think kids grasp the idea of measurement much better when they can fully see what they are measureing. So instead of discussing pints, quarts, liters, gallons, etc, we get out examples.

And it’s totally okay to make up activities, too. The idea is to bring the measurement into real life and not rely on worksheets.

## How to Do the Wind STEM Activity

I had a few ideas on how we could do this activity, and I’ll mention them all.

We decided to compare blowing through a straw (directed force) versus just blowing with our mouths. Which method would shoot the cotton ball (cloud) further?

Materials needed:

• Cotton balls
• Straws
• Measuring tape

First, have them make guesses (hypotheses) about what will happen. Will the cotton ball go further with a straw or no straw?

Next, get your area ready. Our cotton balls went further than expected so make sure you have plenty of space.

Simply put your cotton ball down (and mark the spot for accurate measurements) and then blow through the straw. I told them to give one good blow and not a continuous stream.

Then measure how far it went! You can compare inches to centimeters, too. (The US will eventually switch to metric so best to get our kids ready now!)

Now get set up again. This time blow without the straw. And again, remind them to just blow one burst and not a continuous stream.

Then measure!

My kids were quite surprised when the cotton ball blown with a straw went much further.

They replicated the test (mostly because they were having fun, but perhaps also because I mentioned repeating it would make the results more accurate) and found the straw blown cotton balls consistently went much further than blowing without a straw.

Other variables to test

• See the difference between a cotton ball that you’ve pulled apart a bit versus one you’ve condensed more.
• Test different widths of straws
• Use a fan to see how far a fan can move a cotton ball