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Rain in a Jar Demonstrates Weather Phenomenon

This article appeared in the June 23, 2017 edition of the Davis Enterprise.

Rain in a Jar Demonstrates Weather Phenomenon

Drops of rain (1903) by Clarence H. White


Rain in a Jar Demonstrates Weather Phenomenon


By Lisa Justice

Special to the Enterprise


Summer Science Camp is in full swing at Explorit Science Center, and there’s still time to join in the fun. Limited spaces are still available in camps throughout the summer for students entering Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade.


Or play along at home with this fun and simple experiment from our weather camp last week. Make it rain in your very own kitchen with materials you already have.


Last week our campers discovered that changes in air temperature contribute to clouds releasing precipitation. You can replicate this process in a glass jar. You will need: a glass jar, some hot water, a small plate and some ice cubes.


Start by pouring about two inches of hot water into the bottom of the jar. Make sure an adult helps with heating and pouring hot water. Then set the plate on top of the jar to completely cover the opening.


Why do you think it’s important to start with hot water? Watch your jar for a few minutes. Do you see anything happening inside?


After a few minutes, place several ice cubes on top of the plate. Keep watching what happens inside the jar. You have very hot water at the bottom and very cold ice at the top. What do you expect to see?


The hot water in the bottom of the jar functions like water that warms on the Earth’s surface and evaporates up to the clouds. The plate and ice cubes are like clouds. The evaporating water gathers in the clouds and cools. What will happened to the cooled water in the clouds?


If you keep watching your jar for several minutes, you will notice that large drops of water will begin falling from the bottom of the plate. Where did this water come from? What’s making it fall? How does this experiment help us understand what causes rain?



Explorit’s coming events:


●      Summer Science Camp registration is open now. Find all the details

●      Save the date of Sunday, August 27 for Explorit’s annual end of summer Final Blast celebration, a full day of fun for the whole community.

●      Explorit’s Exploration Gallery is open to the public every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and every Friday, 3:00-6:00 p.m.  Admission is $5.00 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free. Come check out the new Nano Mini Exhibition.

●      Interested in helping out the community through board membership? Explorit is currently seeking individuals in the community to serve as members of our volunteer board. Please call or email for additional information on how to apply.

●      Interested in membership? Think your Explorit membership may have lapsed?  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 to check or sign up.

●      Birthdays are fun with science at Explorit! Choose Super Birthday Party topics to make this a special event. Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 for more information or to book your party.



Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit, or “like” us on Facebook at

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