The weather is such a fascinating learning experience for children. They know what weather is, but the how and why are fascinating to learn about.
Today we will do a few STEAM activities on rain, or more specifically the water cycle. We discuss the fact that the Earth has a limited amount of water, and that the water is continually moving in a cycle. The water on the Earth (oceans, lakes, streams, puddles and even pools) evaporate in the sun. This water then rises into atmosphere. The water molecules cool and condense into clouds. As the clouds fill up with water the begin to get heavy, and the water falls to the earth’s surface in a form of precipitation (rain or snow).
Here are two fun experiments to see water evaporate, condense and eventually “rain” back down.
Rain in a bag
On a zip lock bag, draw the sun, a cloud and some form of water. Draw up arrows coming from the water and down from the cloud.
Put water into the bag, I added blue water.
Then hang in the window, south facing work best.
As the sun warms the water in the bag, it will begin to evaporate, but since it is sealed into the zip lock bag, it will not go into the atmosphere. Instead it will begin to condense and “rain” back down to the bottom of the bag.
Fill a jar or glass with HOT water for about a minute.
Dump out most of the water, leave some in the bottom.
Place a bag full of ice cubes on the top of the glass
Observe! The water from the bottom of the glass will begin to condense forming a “fog” on the side of the glass.