Fun Experiment 2 for kids : Create a Cloud in a Jar

Discover magazine’s second fun experiment for children.

Clouds are an important and often overlooked driver of Earth’s temperature. They trap sunlight in, but they also reflect it back into space. That role has climate scientists rushing to study our planet’s clouds, and how they’re changing. NASA’s GLOBE Observer: Clouds project taps citizen scientists to provide pictures of the sky, plus observations of cloud cover, type, sky conditions and visibility. That data helps info real science research and verify what satellites are seeing from space.

Materials you will need for the cloud experiment

Fall is approaching fast, which means many of us will soon be at home watching rain and snow out the window. Instead of succumbing to the gloom, why not make that weather into a fun science experiment for your kids? 

The CoCoRaHS weather monitoring program, or Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network, is a network of volunteers who measure and report on precipitation. CoCoRaHS emphasizes training and education, and they even have an interactive website rich in educational resources and even National Weather Service lesson plans you can use at home. 

As a volunteer, you’ll use the same low-cost weather gauges that meteorologists and cities use. Then, when it rains, snows or hails, you’ll submit your precipitation data to the website where you can compare it to others in real-time. That information also helps out the National Weather Service, as well as researchers, farmers, emergency managers — and curious people everywhere. 

HOW TO GET STARTED

Youtube video for observing cloud data

Sign up or Log in to SciStarter. Your free account, while not required, enables your participation to be credited on your SciStarter Dashboard.

New and interested users are encouraged to go to SciStarter.org/NASA to learn more and receive step-by-step instructions. You can visit https://observer.globe.gov to learn more about GLOBE Observer and the Clouds tool. Especially for educators, the main GLOBE Program can be found at http://www.globe.gov.

Children under the age of 13 should be supervised by an adult when using the app. Always follow guidelines from your local officials, and only participate in GLOBE activities or use the GLOBE Observer app if it is safe to do so.

When you download the app, please use the same email address you used to sign up for a SciStarter account, and use the referral code “scistarter” so all of your contributions will be credited to your SciStarter dashboard!


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