These are pictures I took in another fourth grade class (not at my school). I really liked the wind vanes (some of her students got creative and added some flair to the top of their projects). I found out that they came from the Delta Science Kit for weather (which we don't have at our school...need to follow up on that :)
The kit only came with supplies to do 15 wind vanes so she broke the class in half with one group making wind vanes and the other making anemometers.
Those windvanes are much sturdier then the ones my students make since they are mounted on a dowel with a ball and a macroma (sp?) pin.
I like how she had the students color the cups for the anemometer (I only have them put their name on one). She used the paper dixie cups and I use the plastic ones (marker wouldn't take as well on the plastic). She tried my stapling idea but actually felt it dragged down the straws more then taping (which she did last time). I thought maybe I did the taping incorrectly and she promised to show it to me the next time I was in her class.
I don't buy the paper dixie cups only because they always come with designs but when I was looking over her anemometers I thought that the paper ones might be lighter then the plastic (need to get out that scale!), which might work better because I also suffer from straws being dragged down (but I don't stress too much about it). If I had the kids color the cups that would effectively cover up the design.
I ran into another friend who just moved to the fourth grade this year and she said that she made anemometers with her second grade class that required no taping or staples. I'm excited because she promised a quick tutorial that I could post here.