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How to make a cloud in a jar

Science experiment for kids

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This science experiment shows kids what elements need to come together for a cloud to form, warm, moist air, a cooling factor, and a cloud condensation nucleus- which simply means an object (like a dust particle) to start the cloud formation.

There’s a step-by step breakdown of this experiment including pictures on this website.

The items you’ll need are a clear glass jar with a lid, warm water, ice, and aerosol hairspray.

It helps if the kids can watch this happen with a darker background to better see the water vapor.

Start by pouring the warm (not boiling!) water into the jar. Move the jar around to swirl the water inside the jar, warming it up.

Turn the lid upside down, place it on top of the jar and fill it with ice.

Quickly remove the lid and spray a quick spray of aerosol hairspray in the jar and replace the lid.

Then remove the lid and watch the cloud escape!

Talk with your kids about how the warm water and warm jar was the needed source of warm moist air. The lid with ice cubes was the cooling factor the warm moist air met. The hairspray particles acted as the cloud condensation nuclei, so when the warm moist air started to cool down, water vapor droplets condensed onto the hairspray particles and started to form a cloud.


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