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This three-part activity consists of an activity that groups of learners develop themselves, a given procedure, and an optional demonstration. First, learners discuss examples of evaporation and then design and conduct their own test to find out whether heating water has an effect on the rate of evaporation. While waiting for their results, learners conduct another evaporation activity using single drops of water on 2 paper towels, one of which is heated. The optional demonstration compares the rate of evaporation of hot and cold water using a sensitive scale or balance. In each of these experiences with evaporation, learners will identify variables, consider how to best control them, and use their observations to conclude that heating water increases the rate of evaporation. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org. Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Hot tap water
  • Room-temperature water
  • Cold water
  • 2 Zip-closing plastic bags, quart-size
  • 2 Droppers
  • 2 Brown paper towels
  • Petri dish or wide shallow container
  • Sensitive scale or balance
  • Dropper
  • Student Activity Sheet


  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
    • States of Matter
      • Changes of Phase
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Kessler, James H. ; Galvan, Patricia M.


  • All rights reserved, American Chemical Society, 2007