Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Week 22 - Weather Fronts - Experiment Extravaganza Day!

Today on Wonderful Wednesdays we explored Weather Fronts and did multiple experiments related to the topic of weather.  We did 7 experiments in all today....I guess you'd say we had an experiment extravaganza day!  We also did a weather map and then had the children be "weatherman/woman" and give us their forecast for the Country.

Some of the experiments we did were from another blog.  We printed the handout of experiments for the kids to write down their observations (or draw them) and we did all but two of the experiments in this packet.  Click on the blue "weather experiments" link at

We started off with a simple "Cloud" experiment of making a cloud with shaving cream and then putting a few drops of blue food coloring on top of the cloud and wait for it to "rain" down for the kids.

 One of our clouds wasn't seeming to rain (it was taking the food coloring a longer time to make it's way through the "cloud") so the kids came up with the idea of adding "wind" and blowing on it.  Which actually did work and then the "rain" started flowing.  We discussed how wind factors into rain/storms in real life.  I loved their thought process on this one.  How awesome!

Then we did a weather front experiment showing how a Thunderstorm would be made when two air masses collide (warm and cold) and how the warm unstable air is forced to rise quickly and the cold air sinks - where they meet is unstable and causes storms to form.

This did a great job of showing that warm air rises and cold air falls. 

The next experiment showed how air pressure affects things.  We did the balloon and bottle experiment.  This worked super well and we had a couple of the balloons eventually get sucked inside the bottle!  Kids thought it was way cool!  

The next experiment we did was make a TORNADO!  That was by far the most fun for the kids and generated the most "awe-inspired" responses.  The fun about this experiment is that they could take it home and replicate it over and over again.

 I love the look of amazement in their eyes!  Too cute!!!

The next experiment we did was to make it rain!  I did find with this experiment that it worked quickest and best if I used very hot water from my electric tea pot to pour into the jar to begin with.  The condensation formed much better that way once the ice was added.

We next did a Cloud in a bottle experiment.  This I found worked best when the bottle was warmed up first with hot water and then the water you put in was hot so as to create enough steam/heat.  You also needed to be fast to place the top on after lighting the match and dropping it in.  It was a two man operation for success!

The last experiment we did was called What Are Weather Fronts - and it came from Teacher Created Resources, Inc - it's not in the packet referenced above.   Here is what you do:  take a pyrex glass dish (9x11 works good) and then you take a piece of cardboard and cut it to fit tightly to divide the dish into two parts and then wrap it in plastic wrap to make it waterproof.  Next you may have to tape it onto the plate and around the bottom and sides to make it waterproof so that the water/oil you will be adding doesn't go across prematurely.  Now you place water on the one side of the divider and add a drop of blue food coloring and mix it gently.  Then you pour oil into the other side to about the same height as the water.  Next you quickly remove the barrier between the two sides and watch to see what happens....The cooking oil rose above the blue water.  The oil represents the warm air mass and the water was the cold air mass.  Oil is less dense than water, just as warm air is less dense than cold air.  So when the two air masses of different temperatures met, the warmer one rose over the colder one.  We discussed how warm and cold air masses are in constant motion due to the winds and particularly those in the upper atmosphere (Week 20). 

I had printed the hand out showing Cold and Warm fronts and how those air masses interact to form weather and we looked at them and read it together.

The last thing that we did was take the sticker scenes that I had purchased before the school year started, from Oriental Trading.  They were for letting the kids make their own weather forecasts on the map of the US.  Once they made their "forecasts" for the US, they then took turns presenting their forecasts to us and being the "weatherman/woman".

It was a wonderful wednesday!


  1. Where did you find the printable of the weather fronts map? Looks like a great one!

  2. Fun! My son has been asking to do experiments lately, so I really need to start doing things like this. Kids are so curious, aren't they? Thanks for sharing these great ideas!

  3. I love all of this, especially the weather maps. Thank you for linking up!