Geography KS3 / GCSE: What is wind?

Richard Hammond demonstrates how wind is created by differences in air pressure.

He begins by collecting a sample of air inside a sealed tube, transporting it to the top of Mount Washington. Mount Washington is said to have the worst weather in the world, with some of the highest wind speeds ever recorded: 231mph.

At the summit of the mountain – Richard explains that air taken at sea level has a higher pressure than at the top of the mountain. Wind is created when there is a pressure difference.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 3

This short film could be useful in providing a simple explanation of how wind is formed, and could be used when introducing the concept of air pressure.

You could pause the clip halfway through and ask your students to predict what will happen when Richard releases the air collected. Were their predictions correct? Why did they make that prediction?

Key Stage 4

This short film could be useful when revising the concept of air pressure. Students could be asked to predict what will happen when Richard releases the air collected at sea level.

They could apply their knowledge of pressure changes and discuss what they think would happen in groups.

Curriculum Notes

This short film could be used to teach geography and physics at KS3 and KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 5 in Scotland.

At GCSE it appears in AQA, OCR A, EDEXCEL, EDUQAS, WJEC and CCEA, in SQA at National 5.

More from Richard Hammond's Wild Weather

How can you cool a drink using the sun?
How does a thermal form?
How does hail form?
How to see thunder
How to use wind to forecast the weather
Inside a tornado
What is the difference between rain and drizzle?
Why does water fall as rain?