Elementary Science:
Online, Interactive, Standards-Based

Quick Changing Water

Water doesn’t disappear, it changes phase and evaporates! In this science fair project students observe the effect of the sun on evaporation. Students recognize that puddles don’t last forever, satisfy their curiosity about what might cause them to evaporate faster or slower.

Outlined in this project is the purpose and hypothesis to help clarify the point of the project. The approximate duration, a short materials list, and an easy to follow procedure is also included. Finally, questions to ask along the way and upon completion of the project are provided.

Purpose: To observe the effect of shade on evaporation

Question: Will water evaporate faster in the sun or the shade?

Hypothesis: If water is spilled in the sun then it will evaporate faster than if it were spilled in the shade.

Statement: Water will evaporate faster in the sun than the shade.

Estimated Duration: 20 minutes on a warm sunny day

Materials List:

  • stopwatch (or clock with a second hand)
  • measuring cup
  • 6 small drinking cups (dixie cups work well)
  • water
  • paper and pencil

Procedure Outline:

  1. Measure 60 milliliters of water, or ¼ cup, into each cup
  2. Find a flat, dry, sunny spot (a sidewalk or driveway work best)
  3. Find a flat, dry shady spot (a sidewalk or driveway work best)
  4. Pour the water out of three cups to make three individual puddles in the shade
  5. Pour the water out of three cups to make three individual puddles in the sun
  6. Start the stopwatch after the last cup has been poured out.
  7. Record your observations of the puddles every 5 minutes until the water from one set of puddles has evaporated.

Be on the lookout for…
Did the puddles in the sun remain in the sun the whole time?
Did the puddles in the shade remain in the shade the whole time?
Where would you want to hang your wet towel so it would dry faster?

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