Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students make an air barometer to measure air pressure.

These Snappy Science resources have been created to boost science education in primary schools across Australia. Each lesson is designed to support teachers with the scientific knowledge, ideas and resources to stimulate a sense of wonder and curiosity in their students. Many of the big issues that Australian society will face in the future are around technology, energy, resources and climate change. All of these require students to engage with science – but most of all to enjoy science!

Science at Home: These Snappy Science resources can also be used to engage families in fun science and learning for life. You can download a student friendly version of this activity here and you can also check out the Snappy Science Digital Library.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content description: This activity is relevant to Science Inquiry Skills across all primary year levels of the Australian Curriculum.

Year 1 Science

  • Observable changes occur in the sky and landscape (ACSSU019)

Year 2 Science

  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE035)

Year 3 Science

  • Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships (ACSHE050)

Syllabus OutcomesST1-9ES, ST2-4WS, ST1-8ES

Time required: 5 – 10 minutes to set up jar, several minutes observation time a day for 2 to 3 days.

Resources required: A wide topped jar, balloon, rubber band, drinking straw, scissors, cardboard, pen, sticky tape, ruler.

Safety advice: This activity requires cutting a balloon – depending on student age and ability this activity may be either a student-led experiment or a teacher-led demonstration.

Keywords: Air pressure, barometer, weather, rain.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Brief summary:

In this activity students make an air barometer to measure air pressure.

Students can use the Predict, Observe, Explain table on the Student Worksheet to describe and reflect upon this experiment.

For more information about how to conduct this experiment and for more of the science behind what happens and why, watch the following clip:

How to Make a Barometer (

You will need:

  • A wide topped jar
  • Balloon
  • Rubber band
  • Drinking straw
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Pen
  • Sticky tape
  • Ruler

What to do:

Step 1. Cut the balloon open and fix it tightly over the opening of the jar. Secure with a rubber band.

Step 2. Trim the end of the straw to a point and attach the other end of the straw to the centre of the balloon topped jar using sticky tape.

Step 3. Draw a scale on the piece of card and prop the card in front of the pointy end of the straw. Mark on the scale where the straw meets the card.


Step 4. Over the course of several day

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Student Worksheet

In this experiment you will be making an air barometer.


Explain what you think will happen:


Explain what happened:


Explain why you think this happened:

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