In this activity students observe water move through the states of matter, evaporating, condensing and precipitating.
Water is constantly in motion. From its liquid form found in places like the ocean, polar ice caps, rivers and lakes, it travels into the air as gaseous water vapour forming clouds, and then it falls back to Earth as precipitation (sleet, snow and rain). This is called the water cycle.
The water cycle:
- water evaporates and rises up into the atmosphere
- in the atmosphere, the water cools and condenses to form clouds
- precipitation falls back to Earth
- water collects into streams, rivers, lakes, etc. and is led by rivers to the oceans
- the cycle starts again
Although this happens on a huge scale, we can recreate the water cycle using items you have in your kitchen. Try this demonstration and then discuss how it illustrates the water cycle.