Storm in a Jar Activity
What if you could sit atop a cloud and watch the rain fall? In this activity, you can see what is actually happening in the sky before a rain storm. Clouds are formed when moisture is collected in the air. When you see a cloud, you’re looking at water vapor that has attached itself to condensation nuclei, dust and small particles in the sky. When the cloud becomes too heavy to hold all the water vapor in the air, it becomes saturated. At saturation, moisture in the sky condenses into a liquid. The moment saturation is reached in your shaving cream cloud, the paint will fall into the water. In this demonstration, you’ll be lucky enough to see what’s happening in the sky before a storm, except in beautiful, bright colors.
What You’ll Need:
· Large glass/jar
· Shaving cream
· Neon/glow in the dark paint
· Small cups or bowls
· Black light (optional)
1. In a small cup or bowl, mix your choice of neon paint with water until the paint dissolves.
2. Fill a jar three quarters of the way with water.
3. On top of the water, spray shaving cream to fill the rest of the jar. You will see that the shaving cream sits on top of the water, forming a cloud.
4. Fill your pipette with your paint mixture and squeeze into your shaving cream cloud.
5. If you have access to a black light, set it up in a dark room to get the full effect.
“Storm in a Jar Experiment,” Growing a Jeweled Rose, https://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2016/04/storm-in-jar-experiment.html.
“Clouds — How Do They Form,” National Weather Service, https://www.weather.gov/source/zhu/ZHU_Training_Page/clouds/cloud_development/clouds.htm.