Weather Madness Activity I-V

(Earning potential of $27 FunBucks with 5 available activities) 

         Earn FunBucks for each submitted activity.

  Submit a picture or video of your

          completed activity and

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I. Water Filtration Experiment
Introduction: This lesson shows how water treatment plants typically clean water by taking it through the processes of aeration, coagulation sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection. 
  • 5 Liters of “swamp water” (or add 2 1/2 cups of dirt or mud to 5 liters of water).

  • 1 Two liter plastic soft drink bottle with its cap (or cork that fits tightly into the neck).

  • 2 Two liter plastic soft drink bottles, one with its bottom cut off and one with the top cut off.

  • 1 large beaker (2 cups) or measuring bowl that will hold the inverted two liter bottle or you can use another two liter plastic soft drink bottle with its top cut off so the other bottle will fit inside of it.

  • 2 tablespoons of alum (potassium aluminum sulfate available in the spice isle at grocery stores).

  • 1 1/2 cups fine sand (white play sand or beach sand).

  • 1 1/2 cups coarse sand (multi-purpose sand).

  • 1 cup small pebbles (washed, natural color aquarium rocks work best).

  • 1 coffee filter.

  • 1 rubber band.

  • 1 tablespoon (for the alum).

  • 1 large spoon (for stirring).

  • A clock with a second hand or a stopwatch

Steps: Click on the buttons to the left for further instructions. Choose the pdf Lesson and Instructions sheet, or the Animated option. The video on the left is only to be used for guidance/demonstration of experiment. Follow the steps and use the materials listed on the lesson.

  Submit a picture of your completed

       activity and

earn $5 FunBucks

Add a Challenge: Take it a little further by following steps 1-4. Select the "Extra Challenge" button to view the steps. 

II. Tornado in a Bottle Experiment
Introduction:  You’ll amaze everyone and explore some of the scientific properties of air and water when you empty a full bottle of water in just a few seconds!
  • Two plastic 1-liter bottles

  • Water

  • Duct tape and metal washer OR Twister Tube

  • Pitcher


  1. Start with two empty, plastic soda bottles. Smaller size bottles work well for smaller hands, but the Twister Tube works on most sizes of plastic soda bottles. Make sure the bottles are the same size.

  2. Fill one bottle 2/3 full with water, attach the twister tube. If you don’t have a Tornado tube, skip ahead to step #4 for instructions.

  3. Attach the second bottle to the other end of the Twister Tube. Make sure that the bottles are screwed on securely so that the water does not leak.

  4. If you do not have a Twister Tube, place a metal washer on top of the bottle with water. Turn the empty bottle upside down and align the openings of the two bottles.  Connect them by wrapping them tightly with duct tape.

  5. Quickly turn the bottle over and set it on a table or desk so it’s standing vertically. A few drops of water might fall into the lower bottle, but not much.  Start moving the Twister Tube in a circle, as if you were stirring something on the stove. At some point, a twister (called a vortex) will form and water will start spiraling into the lower bottle. It looks just like a tornado!

Submit a picture or video of your completed project and the answers to the Investigation questions


earn $7 FunBucks

III. Building a Model Aquifer
Introduction: The student will create a model of an aquifer and learn how ground water flows through an aquifer, how ground water can become contaminated, and why it is so difficult to clean contaminated ground water. 


  • Two plexiglass panels-10"x 20". In One panel, drill a 3/8 hole located 5" from the top and 5" from the edge.

  • Duct Tape(2 1/2 inch wide roll).

  • Lightweight felt(10"x 20" sheet rolled into tube)

  • Sand(3 quarts)

  • Pea gravel(2 quarts)

  • Foam weatherstrip (Open-cell) 3/4 inch wide, with or without adhesive backing

  • Two 6 inch pcs. tubing(1/2 inch inner diameter)

  • One 6 inch pc.tubing(1/2 outer diameter)

  • Clear drinking straws or glass tubing

  • Ruler

  • Two dish soap bottles with bottom cut out.

  • Food coloring(at least three colors)

  • Syringe or tap aspirator

  • Cups(4oz. paper and large 16oz plastic)

Steps: Click on the button for further instructions. 

Submit the two weeks recording with your entries and
earn $5 FunBucks.
IV. Building a Psychrometer
Introduction: In this activity the student will learn how to measure relative humidity (how fast air will let water evaporate into it). 
  • 2 alcohol-filled air thermometers (they must read exactly the same temperature when placed side by side out of direct sunlight)

  • clear packing tape

  • cotton shoelace (the hollow type)

  • 1- or 2-liter bottle (label removed)

  • water (distilled is best but tap will do)

  • thread

  • awl

  • relative humidity chart (below)

  1. Punch a hole in the side of the bottle about an inch from the bottom. Heating the awl will make a perfect hole. The same thing can be done with a hot nail held with tongs. Use great caution when doing this so you don't burn yourself or others. When you've made the hole, place the hot object in cold water.

  2. Be sure the tips are cut off the shoestring. Cut about 2 inches of shoestring and slip it over the bulb of one of the thermometers. Carefully tie it in place with thread.

  3. Cut a small piece of packing tape. Position the bulb of the shoe stringed thermometer about 1/8 inch over the hole. Be sure the top of the thermometer is aligned with the top of the bottle. Tape the thermometer to the bottle. Tape the other thermometer parallel to the first one and about 1/4 inch away. Put a strip of tape around the bottle and both thermometers to make sure they don't fall off.

  4. Wait 5 to 10 minutes and read both thermometers. There will be a difference in the two. Use the chart below to calculate the relative humidity.

  5. Keep a record of the daily humidity for 2 weeks. Next to your entries, describe the way you feel on those days.

  6. The dry-bulb temperature can also be used to record the air temperature!

  7. Use caution when doing this experiment


Submit a picture of your completed activity and the answers to your questions and

earn $6 FunBucks

V. Build Your Own Watershed
Introduction: This experiment illustrates the basic properties of a watershed: how water flows from higher elevations to lower elevations, and how watersheds are interconnected.
  • 1 large tupperware container (about 1.5’W x 3’L x 1’H)

  • 2 lbs. of modeling clay

  • 3 lbs. of sand (any type of sand will do)

  • 2 lbs. of aquarium gravel

  • 1 roll of wax paper (or any other impervious, water repellant surface, tin foil, plastic wrap, etc.)

  • 1/4 cup of cocoa mixiced tea mix, or other flavored drink mix (to represent chemicals)

  • 1 spray bottle or bucket full of water

Steps: Click below for further instructions. The video on the left is only to be used for guidance/demonstration of experiment. Follow the steps and use the materials listed on the lesson.