Different ideas for a science project on the water cycle

Written by sally nash
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Different ideas for a science project on the water cycle
Students learn about concepts such as precipitation from a project on the water cycle. (Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The water cycle is can be a subject for a science project. Unlike more abstract topics, students can immediately relate to weather in the form of rain and sunshine. It is fairly straightforward to carry out such simple classroom experiments as measuring the amount of rain that falls in a day.

Bottle Experiment

Students can make their own water cycle in a bottle. Have them cut away the shoulder of a plastic soda bottle. The cap should be left on tightly. Pour hot water into the bottom of the bottle, turn the bottle over and then fill the other half with ice. Students will see the three main phases of the water cycle of evaporation, condensation and precipitation by watching the hot water cooling when it meets the ice. The condensation inside the bottle is like a cloud and the droplets falling imitates the rain in the cycle.

Research/3D Posters

Have students research the water cycle from books and online sources so they understand and can describe the main elements of the process. Students then design and draw colourful 3D posters of the cycle based on their new-found scientific knowledge. This could focus on sources of water pollution or show how the water cycle affects the local region. Have the students show and explain their posters to different classes in the school.

Water Cycle Game

The water cycle game is produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and requires downloading the needed components from the agency's website. In this game, students travel through the water cycle as a water "molecule."he game is designed to build on students' knowledge of the water cycle and demonstrate the complexity of water's movement. Students roll dice and each roll determines where they travel next in the cycle. NOAA provides the game instructions along with the game cubes and other materials.


Have elementary students leave out receptacles to catch the rain as it falls. Students then measure how much rain has fallen. Have the students do this for a week and make a simple graph based on their measurements. To extend the science learning into writing, have the students read a fictional text about the water cycle such as "Walter the Water Molecule: Take a Journey through the Water Cycle." Read the story out loud and have the students write their own stories about Walter's journey.

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