Boiling Water Science Experiment ~ Our Homeschool

Brrrrrrrr.....!! Baby it's cold outside!

Here in Chicago-land it is -2* and with the windchill it is -22*.

Yesterday, my boys thought it would be great to do a science experiment that they found online.  The temp with windchill yesterday was -54* !!! No kidding!  We have NEVER experienced this before.  The boys were greatly intrigued to say the least.

Of course, a warning is issued because boiling water is involved.
WARNING! Children should NOT do this experiment without a parent or guardian!


You only need two things:
  • freshly boiled water
  • really cold outdoor temperature
Basically, you toss the boiling water into the air (NOT above anyone's head!!!!) and watch it turn into snow!

Why does it turn into snow? 

This is what Live Science has to say about it:
"When it's cold outside, there's hardly any water vapor present in the air, whereas boiling water emits vapor very readily that's why it's steaming," Seeley says. "When you throw the water up in the air, it breaks into much smaller droplets, so there's even more surface for water vapor to come off of.
"Now, cold air is very dense, and this makes its capacity to hold water vapor molecules very low. There's just fundamentally less space for the vapor molecules," Seeley explains. "So when you throw the boiling water up, suddenly the minus 22 air has more water vapor than it has room for. So the vapor precipitates out by clinging to microscopic particles in the air, such as sodium or calcium, and forming crystals. This is just what goes into the formation of snowflakes."

Here is Weather.com's version found on YouTube:

Let me know if you try it and link back so we can watch your experiment!

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