Barometric Pressure Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Air is invisible to your eyes, but it is filled with tiny particles. These particles have weight, so air has weight. In this lesson, you'll learn about barometric pressure to understand how the weight of air pressing down on you is measured.

Air is Heavy!

Can you hold air in your hands? Sounds impossible, doesn't it? But the surprising thing is that air has weight. So, if you cup your hands out in front of you, you can scoop up a handful of air and hold it in your hands.

Do you think that sounds weird? Well, it gets even weirder! That same handful of air would weigh more if you were standing next to the ocean than if you were standing on top of a mountain.

Air is not empty; instead, it's filled with tiny things called molecules that have weight. The more molecules in the air that surrounds you, the more the air weighs. When you're standing next to the ocean, there is a lot of air between you and the top of the sky, so there's a lot of air pressing down on you. When you climb to the top of a mountain, there is less air between you and the top of the sky, so there is less air pressing down on you.

What is Barometric Pressure and Why Doesn't It Squash Us?

Scientists use an instrument called a barometer to measure the weight of the air pressing down on you. The air pressure reading that they get from the instrument is called the barometric pressure.

A barometer is an instrument used to measure barometric pressure.

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