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We have here a tall vase with straight sides. Let's pour water in until it's full. Tell me what shape the water is. The five-dollar word would be "cylindrical" (pronounced

From the tall vase, we will pour water onto a plate. Oops! Not too much--the vase holds lots more water than the plate could hold. What is the shape of the water now? And what shape is that water I spilled on the counter when I poured too much?

What shape is water when it comes out of the faucet? or a hose? What shape is it when it comes down on us when it is raining? or when it makes a puddle?

Does water even have a shape?

When mom makes a cake, the batter she has mixed is all runny, and has no shape. She pours it into a cake pan, which can be round or square, or have a tube in the middle of it, or have fancy scalloped edges. When it bakes, the water in the cake evaporates and the cake becomes a solid. Then, when she takes it out of the pan, it has its own shape, because it is shaped just like the inside of the pan. That is because it is solid.

When rainwater comes down from the clouds, the shape of the water is a "drop" shape. When it hits the ground, it goes "splat," and either sinks into the soil, makes a puddle, or runs along the sidewalk. So, if water ever does have a shape, it is really not its own shape.

When we talk about the shape of water we have to realize that water does not have a shape of its own.


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