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The Rain Man

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The Rain Man

In this activity, learners observe the hydrologic cycle in action as water evaporates and condenses to form rain right before their eyes. Learners perform a simple experiment to precipitate "rainwater" from ice cubes sealed in a sandwich bag. This resource includes an explanation of how little rainwater accounts for the total amount of water on Earth as well as some tips for flash flood safety.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Mayonnaise size jar
  • Resealable sandwich bag
  • Ice cubes


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
      • Atmosphere
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Energy Flow and Chemical Cycles
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Gases
      • Changes of Phase
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, National Weather Service,


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