Friday, 21 September 2012

How to make a thunderstorm in your kitchen

And it's not as dangerous as it sounds! It is actually an experiment to see how the warm and cold fronts interact. We have been having some cracking thunderstorms recently so this was a great little experiment to do.
I have written it out as a PDF (below) for you print out. It has the full instructions and I also included a section so you (the child) can record what happens.

Fill a clear container about 2/3 full with lukewarm water. let it sit for a minute or two. Then add a blue ice-cube at one end of the container and a few drops of red food colour at the other end. Watch what happens.

The blue water should sink, pushing the red water up.

Looking from the side of the box gives a better view, the purple, mixed water is where the thunderstorm would take place, the purple shows the unstable air. It is a pretty neat experiment because trying to explain this concept to a child is quite difficult, with the water they can see exactly how the air moves. When you do this though, explain that there is not going to be big bangs and flashes of lightning!

Download the PDF HERE, I have more of these experiments so I will share them as we do them.

***UPDATE*** the full booklet of experiments can be downloaded over on MOC HERE.
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