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Make water come out of thin air with the News 2 Science Geeks

This experiment will show there really is water in the air

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Welcome back to News 2 Science Geeks! It's a weekly segment that gives you some easy-to-do science experiments during this period of staying at home. Have fun, and let us know if you try this one out. 

This week we're going to make water come out of thin air. The process of converting water vapor (gas) into water droplets is called condensation.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

  • A glass of ice water
  • A color sheet of construction paper
  • A class coaster (Not part of the experiment)

FOLLOW THESE STEPS:

  1. Fill glass with ice water
  2. Set glass of ice water in construction paper. 
  3. Let sit for at least one hour

WHY DID IT WORK?

This experiment may look familiar. You have done it hundreds of times not realizing you were actually doing a science experiment.

On a hot day, you fix a glass of your favorite beverage and add ice. It doesn't have to be water. It can be Pepsi, Coke, or ice tea. you set the glass down on mom's favorite piece of furniture. Later, when you come back, you discover the glass is wet and there is a wet spot on mom's furniture. Mom is not happy!

Where did the water come from? Inside the glass? No! It actually came from the air. The ice and cold beverage cooled the surface of the glass. When the air touches the glass, the air is rapidly cooled. The cooler air can not hold water in the form of a gas and water droplets (condense) on the side of the glass and puddle on the table. It is true! Even though we can not see it, the air does contain water. 

In our experiment, water collects on the construction paper to form a wet spot. Today we use glass coasters to set out beverage on. This protects mom's furniture. Mom is very happy!

CONDENSATION AND WEATHER

Here are a couple of examples of condensation in weather. When air lifts in the atmosphere, it cools and water condenses to form clouds. Also, when the air cools at night, water droplets condense on the grass in what we know as dew.

We hope you enjoy doing this really cool experiment.

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