Cloud in a Bottle

This Cloud in a Bottle activity & project also includes:

Clouds come in all shapes and sizes: thin and wispy to large and billowy. But how do clouds form? And how can they turn from something beautiful into a deadly storm such as a hurricane? A lab investigation challenges learners to discover what is necessary in our atmosphere for cloud formation, and how hurricanes form off the coast of Africa. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • Ask learners how they believe clouds form and have them record answers in their science notebooks; perform the experiment, answer questions, and then have them tweak their answers
Classroom Considerations
  • Conduct the experiment before using in class to ensure cloud formation with both hot and cold water
  • Experimenters will be using matches, so review safety procedures
  • Includes critical thinking questions as well as a real-world application question
  • The setup for the activity is easy, as you can find the equipment needed for the lab at home
  • The materials section calls for very cold water but in the procedure for cold water, the step says, "Pour 20 ml of warm water ..."