Last Modified: 20051104.16:30 by RTSmith
|Index of Secondary Text Terms||Figure 3.1: Network Map of Wind-related Concepts||
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[ Started 11/2/2005. ]
A wind sock is a weather instrument used to determine wind direction and to estimate wind speed. A wind sock may alternatively be referred to as an air sleeve, an air sock, a wind cone, or a wind sleeve. Wind socks are often associated with and can be found at airports. But they can also be seen in a wide variety of other locations. According to www.roctan.com/WindSocks.htm, the color of an airstrip's wind sock provides information (in Canada at least) to aircraft pilots. A two-colored wind sock is typically used at licensed runways and solid orange wind socks are usually displayed at unlicensed runways. You can make your own wind sock -- see the links near the bottom of this page for instructions for building a variety of wind socks.
While some sources credit the Japanese with the invention of wind socks, Brian Cosgrove (on page 43 of the 1991/2000 DK Eyewitness book Weather, ISBN: 0-7894-5782-2) writes that the Chinese flew kites in the wind at least as far back as 500 B.C. They made kites in a variety of shapes and sizes, including some that were shaped like socks (albeit with a hole at the toe end). These were probably the earliest version of a wind sock.
From an educational perspective, a wind sock is one of the three "tools" with which elementary school students need to become familiar for the purpose of describing weather according to elementary science benchmark V.3.e.1 of the Michigan Curriculum Framework (2000). The other two tools are a thermometer and a rain gauge.
[ Click here to see the complete text of the V.3.e.1 elementary science benchmark. ]
Wind socks can be found in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes, and locations. These links provide a small collection of images of various wind socks:
- A patriotic wind sock
- A Canadian wind sock
- A red wind sock on a calm day
- A red wind sock on a breezy day
- A wind sock with streamers on a windy day
- The front of a red and white wind sock
- The tail end of a wind sock
- A red and white wind sock
- Some students in Ms. Lambert's kindergarten class at Bingham Elementary School in Lansing, Michigan, observing a wind sock atop Sparrow Hospital
- A person holding a wind sock
- An orange wind sock with a hang glider in the background
- Several large colorful wind socks
- Many colorful wind socks
- A wind sock in Antarctica
- The Las Vegas Valley Soaring Association annually replaces the wind sock on a ridge east of Jean
- A wind sock on a dock by a lake
- A wind sock and an airplane on a calm day
- "Ultralights Wind Sock" on a windy day
- The "Wyoming Wind Sock"
Here are some more links to web pages dealing with wind socks:
Pathfinder wind socks on Mars as described at NASA's "Mars Exploration Program" web site; additional information can be found here as part of the California Space Institute web site; click here to read about Dr. Robert Sullivan's work on the Mars Pathfinder wind socks as reported in TES News (February 1995)
"Wind sock" as defined by Wikipedia
Some links with instructions for building your own wind sock:
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This page was created by R. Timothy Smith, when he was an overworked, underpaid Academic Specialist with the Department of Teacher Education in the College of Education at Michigan State University (1993-2001).