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Wetland Curriculum Resource
Unit 2. Water - Activities

5 : 8 :: Water Cycle)

Purpose: To observe a water cycle.

What You Need: 500 ml flask :: one-hole stopper with glass tube :: 125 ml dirt :: plastic or rubber tubing :: 1 L beaker :: small beaker :: clean water :: hot plate :: ringstand :: clamp :: 15 ml salt

What You Do:

  1. Half-fill a flask with water and add some dirt. Stopper the flask with the glass tube and attach a long plastic tube.
  2. Allow the remaining tubing to pass through a beaker of cold water. Insert the end of the tube in a clean beaker.
  3. Apply heat to the water in the flask over a hot plate and observe what happens. (If you add a tablespoon of salt to your solution it will come to a boil more quickly. The water passing into the clean beaker will be freshwater and the salt will remain behind in the original flask.


  1. What two processes are occuring as the water collects in the jar?
  2. How does this experiment represent a water cycle in nature?
  3. Is the water that you started with different from the water you finished with? Would you drink the water that collected in the jar? Why or why not?

Click here to see the answers to these questions.
Click here to go back to the list of activities for this unit.


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