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A Hands-On Activity Teaching About Raindrop Formation
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Science Area:  Earth Science
Concept:  Raindrop Shape Formation

 

 

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

 

STATE GOALS: 

11.A.1a:  Describe an observed event.

12.C.2b   Describe an 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: 

Use caution when dealing with water. 

 

Science Process Skills:

Observing and Communication

 

Materials:

Cups of water

Eye Droppers

Wax paper squares

Paper Towels

 

Procedure:

Divide class into groups of 2 or 3. 

Distribute water, eyedroppers and wax paper.

Have students drop little drops of water onto the wax paper.  Have them drop some near other drops and others farther apart. 

Observe

 

Explanation:  Water acts the way it does because the water molecules have a very strong attraction to each other. We call this attraction - cohesion.  The strong cohesion of water molecules means that they would rather be with each other than apart. This results in a very strong pull on the water molecules that are in the air. The accumulation and attraction of the water in the atmosphere causes raindrops to form.  These water droplets collect and then form clouds. As clouds move, the water droplets bump into each other and form larger droplets of water.  When the air becomes too heavy with water droplets, the clouds get heavy and gravity pushes the water back to earth and the in the form of precipitation.  Precipitation can be in the form of:  Rain, Hail, Freezing Rain, Sleet or Snow.