Recently Fifth Graders have been studying all about weather and had the opportunity over the course of several days to do some fun STEAM projects. Not only were the students were able to look at barometers, anemometers, thermometers, hygrometers, and even a Venier tool that had been set up outside their classroom and stored weather information electronically, but they also learned what each piece of equipment was used for and how to use them.
They also have had lessons and STEAM projects about how clouds in the sky form. Using two plastic containers, one filled with about an inch of hot water the other empty, students learned that by placing an ice cube on both container lids how clouds form. They watched the results inside the containers for about 8 minutes. They got to see with their very own eyes the water cycle in progress.
These students even made their own thermometers out of straws, modeling clay, plastic cups, water, and food coloring. Once they figured out how to make the thermometers they were given different containers with different temperatures of water and used their thermometers to check the temp of each.
Finally, the students were given two different colors of food coloring, salt, hot water in a cup, warm water in a cup, cold water in a cup, and a spoon. They had to make salt water and color the other two waters. Then they had to figure out the best way to layer the two waters onto the salt water without stirring them together. This demonstrated freshwater runoff and ocean water as part of the water cycle.