Science with Shields: Episode #67 – Boiling Water to a Cloud

Science with Shields

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to take a boiling pot of water and make a cloud!

What you need: 

  1. Water
  2. Pot
  3. Stove
  4. Temperatures below 10°F (for best results)

Instructions:

Please have a parent or guardian do the experiment, and have the children watch what happens! If the experiment is not done properly or safely, you could get burned. Also, make sure to bundle up because you will be going out into the cold!

Take a cooking pot, fill it with water and boil it on the stove. Next, carefully take the pot off the stove and carry it outside. You will want the outdoor air temperature below 10°F for this to work well. Throw the water out of the pot away from you and into the air. (Try to do this experiment on a day that is not windy, if it is windy, make sure to throw the water the same way the wind is blowing and not against it.) Watch the cloud form!

Science: 

Boiling water is closer to evaporation compared to cold water. When you throw the boiling water into cold, dry air, what happens is the water droplets cool and evaporate. Quickly as the water is thrown in the air, it condensates, becoming water vapor.  Basically, it takes the water in its liquid state (water) and turns it into its gas state (water vapor). If it is cold enough, (think below zero) the water vapor will crystallize, and you will see tiny ice crystals falling back down from the sky. The ice crystals would represent the other state in the water cycle the solid state!

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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