Thank you to Science Sparks for inviting me to guest post on their blog today. I decided to put them to some use and set up a weather station with them to predict what the weather will be like.
How to make a pinecone weather station
Our pinecone weather station is set up on a window sill outside in our garden that we can see from another window inside the house so we can record what is going on with our pine cones each day. I have found out it’s a good idea to attach them to the window with some blu tack or modelling clay so that they don’t fall over as the weather changes but apart from that the experiment is set up.
When the weather is dry, the pine cones open up and when it’s going to rain they close down. It’s a really fun way for children to start to think about the future and what the weather will be doing.
Pinecone Facts for Kids
Pine cones open and close depending on the humidity to help seed dispersal. Inside the pinecone, there are lots of feather light seeds. When the weather is dry the pine cone opens up, and any wind will catch the seeds and allow them to be dispersed in the air far away from the original tree.
When the humidity rises, and rain is likely, then the pine cone closes up to prevent the seeds from escaping as being so light, the seeds will become waterlogged, and they will travel only a short distance from the original source, which would be shaded and have to fight the “parent” tree for resources.