The Water Cycle Experiment

The water cycle or also known as the hydrological cycle is a state that describes how water moves continuously on Earth. Water cycle through different stages include: Evaporation, Condensation, precipitation and flow. Then go back to the evaporation stage. The whole cycle begins again and hence the name “water cycle”.

The Water Cycle Experiment
Water Cycle
Stages of the Water Cycle
Water covers 70% of the earth’s surface and makes up about 60% of our body. This amazing natural resource is very important for the life of both animals and plants. In addition to having many amazing properties, water is the only substance that appears on Earth naturally in the three physical states of matter, gas (water vapor), liquid (water), and solids (snow, ice). Most of the other substances exist only in one state in nature.
As water passes through different stages of the water cycle, it changes from one form to another by absorbing or releasing heat energy in the process.
1. Evaporation
Evaporation occurs wherever there is open water, eg at sea level, river or lake, when we sweat, when animals sweat and when plants die. As the sun heats up the exposed water, the water on the surface turns into steam and enters the air. Evaporation can occur at any temperature, but warm water evaporates faster than cold water. If we boil water, we can see steam rising from the surface. It is a quick and visible evaporation.
When we can not see steam or evaporation, evaporation can still occur at a much slower rate. We can try Evaporation experiments on this Distillation to see how water can evaporate even at room temperature.
2. Condensation
As water vapor in the air rises and reaches the upper atmosphere, cold temperatures cause them to release heat and turn back into fluids. These fine water droplets hang on the dust particles in the air to form clouds.
In this experiment, condensation occurs in the wall of the bottle to form a grain of water. This is a very neat experiment and also the water cycle by itself.
3. Precipitation (Rain)
As water droplets collide and condense simultaneously in the upper atmosphere, they become larger and heavier.
When the speed drops the water droplets over the speed of the clouds moving upwards, the droplets fall from the clouds as rainfall, it can be either regular water rain, freezing rain, hail, or snow.
4. Flowing
Through rainfall, water returns to the surface of the earth. Some water flows down and ends in the sea, lakes and rivers.
Some soak the soil and become groundwater, which feeds the plants or walks through the land that ends at sea. Some are consumed by animals. From there, the water cycle begins again.
Simple Water Cycle In Plastic Bag Experiment
In this simple experiment of “water cycle in plastic”, we will observe various stages of the water cycle process up close.
water cycle experiment
Tools and materials
Plastic Bag Bending (zip)
Permanent color markers
Blue food dye
1. Warm the water until steam begins to rise but do not boil.
2. Add the blue food dye into the water to represent the seawater.
3. Pour water into a Plastic Bag zipper
4. Hang the bag over the door window using ribbon or yarn.
5. As the water evaporates, the steam rises and condenses at the top of the plastic bag. white clumps can be seen resembling clouds in the upper atmosphere.

water cycle experiment

6. After a while, water droplets appear on the inside of the plastic bag. As they get bigger, they will eventually slide down. Glide down like a flow stage that brings water back to the ocean.
7. If the water is still warm or if the bag is left in the window facing the sunlight, it will continue to flow through four different water cycle stages.

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