No matter what time of year it is, when you look up into the sky, you can probably see clouds. How do these fluffy white giants form, though? Well, using our cloud jar, we can find out!
What you need:
- Jar with a lid
- ⅓ cup of hot water
What you do:
First, pour the hot water into the jar. Swirl the water around the jar to warm it up. Set it down on the table.
Next, place the lid upside down on top of the opening. Place the ice on top of the lid. Allow the ice to sit on top for 20 seconds.
After the 20 seconds is up, quickly remove the lid from your cloud jar and spray in some hairspray. Close the lid again with the ice still on top.
Watch as the cloud forms in the jar. Once the cloud is fully formed, remove the lid and watch the cloud escape into the air!
Questions to consider:
- How do clouds form?
- Why did we pray hairspray in our cloud jar?
- How does the hot water and ice help the cloud form?
Why it works:
The hot water creates water vapor within the jar, which then rises up towards the cold lid and condenses. This is similar to the water cycle in nature, where water evaporates, rises, and condenses in the colder air.
Unlike our cloud jar, however, the sky does not have a lid to condense on. Instead, the water vapor condenses onto dust, pollution, pollen, ash, and other particles in nature. The hairspray in our demonstration represents these particles that water vapor uses to form clouds.