Water Cycle Terrariums

We have been learning about the water cycle with a focus on evaporation, condensation and precipitation. To understand more about this process we decided to make a terrarium. This way we could observe first hand how the water cycle works. Similar to the way water evaporates and rises into the atmosphere before condensing and falling as precipitation, in our terrarium, the moisture from the soil evaporates and rises before condensing on the top of our container. It then falls (like rain) to provide moisture to the grass in our terrarium.

It was amazing to witness the water cycle happening right in front of us. Not only did we learn more about evaporation, condensation and precipitation, we also learnt about transpiration. Transpiration occurs when the grass soaks up the water in its roots, then ‘breathes’ with respiration, releasing the water (and oxygen) into the air which then condenses on the container and rains. Amazing stuff!!

 

Water Science

We have been learning lots of different facts about water.  We even made our own Water Facts Book.  On Dale’s page he illustrates how water and oil don’t mix.  We thought we’d explore this concept further by dropping some water droplets onto both greaseproof paper and photocopy paper.  When we dropped the water onto a plain piece of paper our water droplet was absorbed by by the paper.  However, when we dropped it onto the wax paper, the water droplet kept its shape.  We discussed how fibrous materials such as paper will absorb water rather than repelling it.  However when the paper has a waxy (or oily) coating, such as grease proof paper, it will be waterproof.  After our discussion we had fun experimenting with the water, greaseproof paper, some eye droppers and straws.  Some of us had races, some of us made mazes to navigate our water droplets through and all of us had a lot of fun.  Take a look….