Our Grade 4 students worked backwards from their theories about storms to hypothesize about the key parts of a storm:
- A cloud, which needs evaporated water.
- A water source, like a puddle.
- The sun to heat the puddle to cause the evaporation.
- The cloud is made when all the gas is gathered together.
- The atmosphere to keep the cloud from floating away.
To see if they could make a cloud, the students safely boiled water and caught the steam in a balloon. This was based on their theory that clouds are made from evaporated water.
They tried and tried, but could not make a cloud.
Elizabeth suggested that “Maybe we need something else?” and Stephanie pointed out that puddles and the ground are dirty so maybe “dirt was needed” to make a cloud.