My son who is in class 2 had to make a science project on water cycle. A group of 6 kids had to present it in their science exhibition. Now when we hear of school projects, its a nightmare for many of us. Involve the children in making the projects and there is nothing more fun than this. I helped him make the model and experiment. Hope this post will help some of you.
In this post, I am giving a step by step tutorial on how to make this 3d model and a small experiment.
First of all lets see what is water cycle
A continuous process in which evaporation, condensation and precipitation occurs is called water cycle.
Now what is evaporation? The sun heats up the water in the rivers, lakes and sea and water becomes water vapour and it rises up in the air. This process is called evaporation. This is the first step of water cycle.
When the water vapour reaches up in the sky, it turns into tiny droplets of water. These water droplets along with various gasses and dust particles come together and form the clouds. This is known as condensation.
When the cloud becomes too heavy and it cannot hold any more water inside it bursts open to give out rain, hail or snow. This is known as precipitation.
So when we make the model we must keep in mind that all the three topics are covered well and must be self explanatory. Ok! so we will get started now.
I have used thermocol ( / expanded polystyrene foam) and mount board as the base. First cut both to the required size. Then stick the thermocol on the mount board. I wanted walls for my project as I had planned to show 3d clouds and sun. So I have stuck the same thermocol and mount board base as walls too.
Then I covered the whole inside with white paper. This can be avoided. I did so as I was not sure where all I would have to paint. Painting on the thermocol would be very clumsy. The picture below shows the base. All set to start my work.
Now once this is completely dry, decide on the landscape you want to make. Then for the mountains, crumple news paper or any other waste paper and give a shape. Mix pop (plaster of Paris) and water in a bowl. Dip a broad gauze bandage in it and neatly place it over the crumpled paper. You will have to repeat this process so as to get the desired shape. Below is a picture of one such mountain I made.
Continue making mountains and once you are satisfied, you can make the land also using pop. This will help to show a little raised area for land and a shallow area for water. Here is the final image of my landscape in pop. This will take a day to dry before you paint.
Once it is completely dry, paint the mountains and the land and water. Both my kids were too excited painting this for me. Yes I had to give shades later to cover up their mess.
If painting land is not very easy for you, you can use coloured sand. In my picture below you can see I have done both. I have used coloured sand as well as painted.
Mixing pop and water in the correct consistency is important. When you mix, it should drop down from your hand freely. But should not be liquid. If your pop is liquid then it will crack after drying. Lets say experience talks. Haha. Yaa I too cracked up one side and so used the coloured sand to cover it up. And that also gave it a lovely look.
Hmmm so we are half way through. Now we will give some life to the land as well. So lets plant some trees and make a few houses and place a few animals too.
Few trees I have bought and stuck them using glue gun. Other, the ones at the base of the mountain are stems of an old Christmas tree. Just cut them to three parts and stuck them using glue gun.
To make the houses I used mount board and once it dried I painted them. Again stuck them up using glue gun. The animals too are toys from my son’s cupboard. Stuck then too using glue gun.
Yeiiii I feel happy seeing the model forming up. And the most excited ones were my two little kids. Now we can move on to the sky. We need a sun and clouds. And yes have to cover up the mess that pop did to the wall. So I painted the walls with shades of blue and white to show sky.
For the cloud, the first thing that comes to all our mind would be cotton of course. But I wanted to give it a 3d effect and not the usual 2d effect.
So I cut small strips of straw, then placed a small cut out of cloud using thermocol on it. Stick these two well. Now we need to stick this to the wall. Glue gun is the best option. I just had to hold it for a few seconds. It stuck beautifully. Then applied a little gum to the thermocol and stuck cotton all over it so that the thermocol or straw is not visible at all.
This is done on the right wall. A similar cloud I made on the other wall. Next we need a sun. I decided to give a smiling sun. I had a smiley ball. I cut it into two halves.
I used the smiling half as the sun.
Hmm not very happy with the look so decided to give the sun some rays
Now time for rain. Thought a lot how to show 3d rain. You can paint on the wall to show rain. But something more effective….. Yupp… My glue gun.. I made connected water drops using glue gun on wax paper. once it dried I removed it from the wax paper and painted it light blue. Stuck this to the cloud using glue gun again. Careful not to burn your hand.
Now to show the water cycle. The main thing. Make arrows using thermocol. Paint them red. Stick them in place. To stick the condensation arrow, I had to struggle a bit. Have to give thermocol as clamps.
And finally my effort showed results. Oo yes I have sprinkled a little rangoli powder over the cloud next to the sun to show it a little darker. Hope you all liked this and hope it helps you all to get some ideas to make models.
Science experiment at home to demonstrate water cycle
We also made the children perform a small experiment. Take a bowl and pour some water into it. Place an empty smaller bowl inside it. Cover the top of the big bowl with cling film. Place a small stone as weight in the middle of the cling film. Leave this out in the sun for a week.
You can see that there are water droplets on the cling film and sides of the big bowl. Also there is water collected inside the small bowl. The water droplets on cling film is evaporation. They condense and become heavy drops of water and flow into the small bowl. This is precipitation. Also the water droplets on sides of big bowl is precipitation.
These small experiments are fun for the kids. So projects don’t become a nightmare for us too.