Into the Waves
Water Cycle Weirdness
Did you know that the water you drink today is the same water that dinosaurs drank? (For real.) Earth has been recycling water for over 4 billion years through the water cycle. If you've ever left a bowl of water outside on a hot summer day and noticed that it's gone the next day, you've witnessed the water cycle in action. Today you'll learn all about it, build a model of your own, and understand how the water cycle influences some of our planet's wildest weather.
Ask About Today
What's one type of climate you didn't understand before today? What part of the world has that climate?
If you could create your own ideal system of weather, what would the weather be like and what would you name it? (Ours would be "sunny with a chance of barbecues.")
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
This week's materials list includes a few items that are a little more unusual—like styrofoam plates, baby oil, and food coloring. If you can find them, we think they make for some really cool experiments. If you can't, no worries, just skip ahead.
Bomb cyclone? Blood rain? Dive in and find out just how extreme the weather can get—all thanks to the water cycle.
Water Cycle What?
Have you ever wondered how the rain gets into the clouds and why it falls down to Earth? Find out how the Earth recycles its water in this video from NBC and the National Science Foundation.
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
Kinds of Clouds
There's more than one kind of cloud in the sky. Find out more about different types of clouds and how they got their names.
The Science of Severe Weather
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of the water cycle in action, take a look at the science behind the weather.
It might be sunny outside where you are, but around the world, people are experiencing all different kinds of weather at any given moment. This is because of climate, the prevailing weather conditions of a region over many years, which are caused by factors like the geography of a place and the Earth’s tilt towards the sun. But humans also contribute to climate—and climate change—through our actions. Read up on climate, then use the key to the left of the page to explore different climate types around the world.
Now that you've got the basics of the water cycle down, it's time to make your own.
To make your own water cycle, you'll use ice cubes on a paper plate on top of a jar of hot water. The ice will cause the moisture in the warm air to condense and form water droplets. This is the same thing that happens in the atmosphere. Warm, moist air rises and meets colder air high in the atmosphere. The water vapor condenses and forms precipitation that falls to the ground. Follow the step-by-step directions here to make it rain!
Be safe: Ask an adult for help with the hot water.
Cloud in a Jar
Time to get dancing—to celebrate the weather.
Rain Dance Traditions
Water is essential to human life. Because of that, many of our ancestors across different cultures worshipped water and even performed ceremonies to celebrate it. These ceremonies are often known as rain dances, and in many cultures, these dances were and still are performed to honor and welcome rain and to cleanse the Earth. Take a look at this one performed by Wuauquikuna, a group formed by two brothers from Ecuador.
Rain Dance...With a Twist
Take a look at this alternative kind of "rain dance," choreographed by Nick Pauley to the song (you guessed it) "Rain Dance" by Whilk and Miskey.
Choreograph Your Own
Now go for it and create your own weather-honoring dance. What type of weather would your movement represent? Choose your own unique outfit, music, and movement to celebrate a kind of weather you love.