Claire, Term 4 2019
In this session we made a rain cloud in a jar!
Using some simple household items we explored how clouds form and make rain.
All you need is a jar, shaving cream, water, blue food colouring and an eye dropper. Set up your jar like the picture above with water on the bottom and shaving cream on the top. Using the eyedropper gradually drop the food colouring into the foam.
How our experiment works
The shaving cream represents the clouds and the water represents the air. The coloured water represents rain. As the coloured water saturates the "cloud", it gets heavy and eventually is so heavy that it can no longer hold the water. It "rains" down into the jar – through the "air." It is just like real rain falls through the air.
Take this experiment home
Go outside and look at the clouds. What can you see? Often you can see shapes in the clouds and it can be fun spotting those.
Talk about the types of clouds using the proper scientific words.
Types of clouds
Cirrus – thin and wispy clouds very high in the sky. They are often made of tiny pieces of ice and usually occur the day before rain or snow. The word cirrus comes from a Latin word that means "tuft or curl of hair."
Cumulus – large, fluffy clouds that are in the sky on days with nice weather (no precipitation). The word cumulus means "pile" or "heap." Cumulus clouds can turn into clouds that bring thunderstorms, called Cumulonimbus clouds.
Stratus – dark layers of clouds that hang low across the sky like a blanket. The word stratus means "to spread out." Stratus clouds can bring rain, snow, or fog.
Some cloud identifying resources