Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Preschool Science - Giving The Air a Drink - Evaporation and Condensation

Inspired by Franklyn M. Branley's Down Comes The Rain, this morning, we performed a couple super simple evaporation, and condensation experiments.

First off, we sat out two bowls, one with a couple of tablespoons of water (which doesn't show up in the picture, but it was there), and one with a couple of tablespoons of soda pop. I got a kick out of the fact, that even though the children had watched their water balloon firework splatters, dry up, leaving behind the color, and corn starch "chalk", they didn't think the same thing would happen inside the house.


Since, the book also describes setting out an ice cold drink on a hot day, to watch the water vapor from the air condense into drops on the side, I thought maybe, that would convince them, that there is water vapor in the air inside, as well as outside. So, I sat a glass of ice water in the middle of the breakfast table...


...and one outside on the deck.


Then, after a few minutes, they were able to touch the glasses...


...and observe rings of water, building underneath them.


Still, without the sun beating, directly down on the water, they didn't think it would evaporate from the bowls on the counter. So, they were surprised, that by two o'clock in the afternoon, all of the water from the pop was gone, leaving behind only the coloring, sweeteners, and other chemicals.


And, by four o'clock, all of the water from our first dish was gone as well. It's a pretty simple concept, but I have to admit, even I was surprised, and relieved, at how quickly it worked.

As to Branley's book, it's a Stage 2, Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science book, that does a pretty decent job of explaining about the water cycle, clouds, rain, and hail. Judging by my children, I'd say it's aimed at the five year old set. It was just a little too long for my four year old, and just a little too elementary for the older children. But, it does suggest quite a few simple, hands on activities, to prove the text, which apparently, even older children can enjoy.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

6 comments:

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

Isn't it great when things work the way you hope they will? It's so humid here, I doubt anything will evaporate, but that sounds like a fun and simple activity we should try.

Christy said...

That is a fun experiment. I think we will try it tomorrow.

Debbie said...

This was great! Isn't it funny how kids assume that our homes are totally safe from all elements, they just have a hard time understanding the air in our homes is the same air as outside!

Lauren said...

So simple, yet such a good lesson. Thanks for sharing it!

Ticia said...

Hmmmmm, I'm impressed it evaporated that fast.

Raising a Happy Child said...

We read this book before, and I felt that a couple of pages in the middle were way above Anna's head, but overall I liked it. We also did some of those experiments and will probably repeat them again, because I noticed that science stuff disappears very quickly from Anna's "retained knowledge" unless it's something that we talk about often (and now we have no reason to mention rain :))