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Cloud In A Jar

astrid smith

Blake loves science experiments, so I am always on the hunt for a good one.  We happened to have everything we needed to make our own cloud in a jar, so I went for it! It was a neat and hands on way for me to talk about the water cycle with him, and was an easy experiment to recreate several times.

Materials:

  • Water
  • Ice
  • Jar with lid
  • Hairspray

Instructions:

  1. Pour hot water into the jar.
  2. Turn the lid of the jar upside down and place it on top of the jar so the lip is facing up. This will help your ice to stay in place.  Put ice cubes on top of the  lid and leave for about 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the lid quickly and spray hairspray in the jar. Replace the lid quickly with the ice still on top and slowly…
  4.  Watch the cloud begin to form!

What makes the cloud form?

When you add the warm water into the jar, some of the water turns to water vapor. The water vapor rises to the top of the jar where it comes into contact with cold air (the ice cubes on top). Water vapor  will condense when it cools down, however, a cloud can only form if the water vapor has something to stick/condense to. In nature, water vapor will condense onto dust particles, pollen, air pollution, volcanic ash, etc. In this “cloud in a jar”, the water condenses to the hairspray.

We had fun doing this a few times, and adding more hairspray to see how much of a cloud we could make.  It was especially fun to open the lid after the cloud was in the jar and watch it escape out of the jar!

We are always on the hunt for science experiments so if you know of any more, send them my way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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