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Rain Jar

You can hold the weather in a jar with this activity

Australian Curriculum links

  • Science > Earth and Space Sciences > Year 2 > ACSSU032
  • Science > Chemical Sciences > Year 3 > ACSSU046
  • Science > Earth and Space Sciences > Year 7 > ACSSU116

You’ll need

  • Jar with a metal lid
  • Warm water
  • Ice cubes
  • Boiling water
  • Hammer and nail

Try this

  1. Use the hammer and nail to push small divots into the upside-down lid of the jar (so that there are raised bumps sticking out from the top of the jar). Be careful not to poke holes into the lid.
  2. Add warm water to the jar, swirl it around and then discard. This is done to help prevent the jar cracking during the next step.
  3. Pour about 5cm of boiling water into the jar.
  4. Place the lid of the jar upside down on the mouth of the jar, making sure it is completely covering the mouth of the jar. Allow it to sit for several minutes.
  5. Put the ice cubes in the lid. Put the jar in a darkened area and shine a torch through the jar to observe what happens.

What’s happening?

The cold surface of the lid cools the steam from the boiling water in the jar. The steam changes back into water, collecting into drops where the divots are on the lid. As the drops get bigger and heavier, it ‘rains’.