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A Hands-On Activity Teaching About Evaporation
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Science Area:  Earth Science 
Concept:  Evaporation

The water cycle includes the processes of evaporation, condensation and precipitation

 

STATE GOALS: 

11.A.1a:  Describe an observed event.

12.C.2b   Describe and explain the properties of solids, liquids and gases.

12.E.2a.   Identify and explain natural cycles of the Earth’s land, water and atmospheric systems.

 

Safety Considerations: 

If you use mirrors be careful not to break them. 

 

Science Process Skills:

Observing, communication and touch

 

Materials:

Mirror or clear plastic object

 

Procedure:

Breathe onto the surface and observe.

 

Explanation:  When you breathe out one of the components that you exhale is water vapor.  Your warm moist air from your lungs will quickly condense on the surface and then quickly evaporate into the air.  In this case, the condensed water from your breath quickly went from a liquid to a gas.  A few common examples of water evaporation would include:  puddles drying up after a rainstorm, wet clothes becoming dry and water boiling. 

 

In the water cycle, the suns rays heat oceans, rivers and lakes.  Some of this heated water is then changed from a liquid to a gas through the process of evaporation and becomes water vapor.  Warm air carries the water vapors high into the atmosphere.  As the water vapor rises it reaches the cooler parts of the atmosphere.  The water vapor then cools and forms tiny droplets of water known as condensation.

 

Source: Levenson, Elaine. Teaching Children About Life and Earth Sciences. TAB Books (A Division of McGraw-Hill, Inc). New York. 1994.  p. 52.