Evaporation occurs everywhere. In lakes, rivers, oceans and even in our baths. Water evaporates when a liquid that is at a temperature below its boiling point transforms into a gas. Since water evaporation is a property that occurs in nature, it is important for students to understand how and why it occurs. Therefore, there are several science projects that allow students to explore this topic.
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Evaporation From Heat and Airflow Using Sponges
Determine if heat or airflow causes water to evaporate quicker. The purpose of this experiment is to determine which method of evaporation is more efficient. This can be conducted using dry sponges. A dry sponge is placed on a plastic plate with a half of cup of distilled water poured over each of the sponges. One sponge will serve as the control. The second sponge should be placed in front of an electric heater (make sure it is not placed too close for fire safety). The third sponge should be placed in front of a fan. Observe and record the time it takes for each sponge to dry completely. The sponge that was exposed to heat should dry the fastest, since increased temperature accelerates evaporation.
Light Bulbs and Evaporation
Explore evaporation properties using light bulbs. Set up four same-size boxes, constructed in the same material; however, three each contains a different wattage light bulb and one has no light bulb (your control). Start with a low-wattage light bulb and increase to a high-wattage light bulb. Then place a container of water inside each of the boxes. Make sure the same amount of water is used. Wait 24 hours, and measure the amount of water in each box. Record results. The box with the highest-wattage light bulb should contain the least amount of water since it will have the highest temperature, which increases evaporation.
Students can explore or investigate how surface area affects the rate of evaporation. This experiment also will illustrate how environmental factors affect an animal's, such as a frog, survival. Using a model frogs made from sponges of different sizes, the students need to weigh each sponge and use a dropper to add the same amount of water to each sponge frog. When water is added, the frog sponges need to be reweighed. The frog sponges are then set aside to allow evaporation to occur. Weigh the sponges at set time intervals and record weight measurement results. See which size frog had the most evaporation occur. You will be able to tell this by which frog lost the most weight. The frog with the largest surface area, the largest frog, should dry the fastest since there are more water molecules to evaporate from the heat.
Student can design a science fair experiment to determine the basic factors that affect the evaporation of water. In this experiment, students can investigate water vapour and compare the evaporation rates of three different plates of water in three different locations. For instance, one plate can be placed outside, one in a closet, and one on the windowsill. The students should also take the temperature of each location. Let the plates of water sit for 24 hours, and then observe the plates. The plate that was in the warmest location should have the least amount of water on it since as temperature increases, evaporation increases as well.
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