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  • Watching the Weather is a Connected journal that explores multiple aspects of weather in New Zealand. In addition to weather, the issue has a focus on the Nature of Science strand of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). The journal features five articles for NZC level 3.

    Rights: Crown 2012

    2012 Connected Level 3: Watching the Weather

    The cover of the 2012 Level 3 Connected journal, Watching the Weather published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

    Cover photograph © Tupungato/Shutterstock.

    Check your school library for the 2012 Level 3 publication or order it from the Ministry of Education. Teacher support material (TSM) is available in PDF format for the five articles.

    The material lists key science and technology concepts featured in the articles. Each of the five sets also provides a series of hands-on activities to support the science concepts.

    What makes the weather

    This article describes the physical processes that drive weather, the water cycle and changes in air pressure and temperature. The text then explains how these processes work together to cause a variety of weather conditions.

    New Zealand's weather

    This article outlines the global influences on the weather. It explores how oceans, continents, and icecaps affect the way air moves, heats and cools. It then reinforces the concepts explained in ‘What makes the weather’ by applying them to the context of weather in the South Pacific and particularly in New Zealand.

    Rights: MetService

    New Zealand weather map

    This map of New Zealand shows areas of high and low atmospheric pressure. We can use maps such as this to determine what the weather will be like, with highs indicating fine weather and lows meaning rain.

    Greig's pointed problem

    This explores the processes involved in planning, designing, and producing a technological solution to a problem through the process of developing a new umbrella.

    Magic in the wind

    This article has a brief description of some of the technological challenges faced by New Zealand kinetic sculptor Len Lye, in creating a wind wand. Together this article and ‘Greig's pointed problem’ provide the basis for a comparison between technology and art.

    Rights: dudlajzov, 123RF Ltd

    Wind wand sculpture

    This 45 m-tall fibreglass sculpture by Len Lye is one of the most recognisable symbols of New Plymouth's waterfront. The red fibreglass tube stands vertical in still air but it can bend up to 20 m in the wind.

    Why does it always rain on me

    This article describes how the amount of rain that falls throughout the year(s) can be explored to find patterns. Different types of displays are used to show the data and to prompt questions, and some basic features of time-series data are introduced.

    Rights: NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

    New Zealand annual rainfall

    Topography influences regional rainfall in New Zealand. Mountains trap moisture from the westerly airstream.

    Related content

    Our article on weather forecasting includes an interactive timeline summarising the major historical developments in weather monitoring and forecasting.

    The Connected article You can count on it explores the ways in which data can be sorted and displayed, and how data may be used for making predictions.

    Weather – literacy learning links contains a selection of weather-related articles from the Connected and School Journal series, along with supporting Hub resources.

    Use the article Planet Earth and Beyond – Weather for a range of related Science Learning Hub links to see how they might fit into your weather unit.

    Explore the differences between weather and climate. The article Our atmosphere and climate – introduction has links to resources that inform students (and the general public) about the state of New Zealand’s climate.

    Explore the range of content under these related topics weather, innovation and nature of technology. Remember, you can use the filters to narrow your search options.

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Activity ideas

    Try out these activities that explore aspects of weather:

    Useful links

    Download the Teacher suport materials for each article from Tāhūrangi.

    See the MetService’s Learning Centre for more weather resources.

    Read about the kiwi ingenuity behind the Blunt umbrellas on their website.

    Read a biography of Len Lye on the Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand website. Find out more about Len Lye Centre on the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery website.

    From the Ministry of Education’s Building Science Concepts series:

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the back of the chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 1 December 2020 Referencing Hub articles
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