DIY: Rain in a Bottle

Have you ever been sitting inside on a rainy day and wondered how exactly rain is made? With a simple experiment, you can make it rain anywhere (anywhere that’s some kind of closed container, anyway).

Materials:

To perform this experiment, you will need hot (not boiling) water, plastic wrap, ice, and a container like a glass or a bottle.

Step 1:

 

You or an adult should heat up the water to the point when it begins to steam, but not actually boil. This can be done in the microwave (about 2 minutes, depending on microwave power and amount of water) or on the stove, so long as you exercise caution. If you choose a microwave as your heat source, use a microwave-safe container. If the water is boiling, let it cool and do not put it in anything plastic.

Step 2:

Pour the water into your glass, bottle, etc.and stretch the plastic wrap tightly over the top. Let this sit for a minute or two.

Step 3:

Set ice cubes over the plastic wrap and let it sit for 6-8 minutes. As time passes, you will see condensation form on the bottom of the plastic wrap. These drops will steadily grow until raining back down. You’ve made it rain indoors!

How it works:

When the steam rises off of the hot water, it comes in contact with the ice, which cools down the steam and condenses it to a liquid. This is a scaled-down version of something called the water cycle, where water evaporates from oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water, cools down and condenses into clouds in the atmosphere, and eventually rains back down on all of us.


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