Third graders at Whitemarsh Elementary School (WES) used hands-on science to explore clouds and how they form. 

group of children holding science workbook with a clear cup in front of them

Students in Mrs. Fishman's class showing the parts of their experiment. 

“I learned that clouds are filled with moisture and water,” said WES third grader Madelyn Narciso.

The students paired up to perform the experiment, which started with the students reading words on a small paper through an empty clear cup. Then they added warm water and put a lid on the cup.   

“We trapped the water, and we tried to read words on a piece of paper,” said WES third grader John Rentch. “It was more difficult to read the words on the paper, because it got foggy.”

Students determined that the fog, or steam, in the cup was made from little droplets of water, just like the clouds in the sky are. They learned that the reason the clouds don't "fall" is because the droplets are so small that the wind is able to keep them up.

In addition to covering clouds and science, the lesson also allowed students to continue developing skills related to communication and cooperation. 

“I enjoyed working with my shoulder partner for this assignment because we work well together,” said WES third grader Amelia Stephan.

The experiment is part of Colonial School District's third grade “Stormy Skies” science unit.