Scouting is about doing. If scouts come to meetings and just write and draw, it becomes too much like school and they lose interest. This is a water cycle demonstration which will add some pizazz to a meeting about weather or a Weather merit badge workshop.
I also like this demonstration because it makes science come alive. In our rapidly changing world, a knowledge of science will help our next generation in their careers and in their daily decisions. The best way to get kids excited about science and to help them understand how it works in everyday life to show it to them.
Water Cycle Demonstration
- Large clear bowl
- Small clear bowl
- One cup hot water
- Oven mitts
- Plastic wrap
- Pour the hot water in the large bowl. (Use oven mitts for safety.)
- Add a few shakes of salt.
- Put the smaller bowl in the large bowl. It should sit in the water, but the water should not overflow into it. The salt water is the ocean and the small bowl is the land.
- Have the scouts look at the steam. Talk about how this is an example of evaporation.
- Cover the large bowl completely with plastic wrap. This represents the clouds.
- Place the ice on top of the plastic wrap, positioned over the small bowl. This is the cold atmosphere above the clouds.
- Have the scouts observe the droplets forming on the plastic wrap. Talk about how this is an example of condensation.
- Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then remove the plastic wrap.
- Have the scouts observe how some of the water dripped from the plastic wrap into the small bowl. Talk about how this is an example of precipitation.
After doing this demonstration, have them draw the water cycle on a piece of paper and remind them about the three processes (evaporation, condensation, and precipitation).
Related Resources for Water Cycle Demonstration
This is a weather game I came across on the NASA Space Place website. It is going to take a little time for you to print and prepare the materials, but I think this would be a hit at any weather themed scout meeting.
The water cycle is an important part of any discussion of the weather. This printable water cycle explanation aid will help explain it.
Enjoy some weather themed activities with your Cub Scouts. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Doing the requirements for the Weather merit badge helps Scouts learn about meteorology. They learn about weather hazards, high and low pressure systems, the science of weather, and the water cycle. They explore climates and the way humans alter their environment. They make a weather instrument and find out about careers related to weather.